Nine shot dead as riots continue in south-western Pakistan

Other News Materials 11 April 2009 18:12 (UTC +04:00)

At least nine people, including a policeman, were killed Saturday as the riots over the assassination of three ethnic political leaders continued for a third day in Pakistan's south-western Balochistan province,  dpa reported.

A police official said the bodies of six coal miners were found in outskirts of provincial capital Quetta.

"The attackers first kidnapped the poor labourers, shot them dead and dumped their bodies in the mountains in Marwar area," police investigator Barkatullah Khan said.

He said two of the victims were from North Western Frontier Province and four from the Pakistani part of the Kashmir region. "Apparently the incident seems part of ongoing violence," Khan added.

Unknown attackers shot dead a policeman in the town of Quetta, where two civilians also died and two were injured in various incidents of violence.

Ethnic Baloch groups fighting for more political autonomy and a greater share in profits from natural resources exploited in Balochistan are suspected of carrying out the attacks on civilians from other provinces and law enforcers.

The government forces have tried to suppress the insurgency which has left hundreds of people, including nationalists and security personnel dead, over the last four years.

The riots erupted in various areas of the province on Thursday when the police found the bodies of three Baloch nationalists, allegedly killed by country's intelligence agencies.

On Saturday, angry protesters torched a government building and three banks in Turbat, some 650 kilometres south of Quetta.

The markets remained closed across the province and nationalists held protest rallies in many cities.