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In the latest attack on minority communities in Pakistan, 11 coal miners were abducted and shot dead by terrorists in Balochistan province on Sunday. Pakistani officials believe that the miners, all of whom hailed from the Shia Hazara community, were targeted because of their faith.

The coal miners were abducted by armed terrorists in Balochistan’s Machh area while on their way to work. Soon after, they were shot dead from close range. While six of the miners died on the spot, the other five succumbed on their way to a nearby hospital.

The victims were paraded before they were executed, news agency PTI quoted an official of the Balochistan Levies as saying.

Condemning the killings, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said he has directed the country’s Frontier Corps (FC) to apprehend the killers. “The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the govt,” he said in a tweet.

This is not the first time members of the Shia Hazara community have been targeted by Sunni militants in Quetta or other parts of Balochistan. In 2019, a suicide bomb attack in a marketplace in a Hazara housing society killed at least 21 people. Terror outfits ISIS and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Responding to questions, Quetta Deputy Commissioner Murad Kaas said on Sunday that no outfit has claimed responsibility for the execution of the 11 coal miners from the Shia Hazara community as of yet. “Those who targeted these innocent coal miners do not deserve any concessions,” Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said.

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