Unidentified gunmen shot dead 14 passengers on Thursday after offloading them from passenger buses on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, a remote area in Balochistan, police said.
Mohsin Hassan Butt, inspector-general of the Balochistan police, said around 15 to 20 gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms stopped up to six passenger buses travelling between Gwadar and Karachi and shot 14 passengers dead. The Pakistan Navy has confirmed that one victim was from the navy.
“Unidentified armed men stopped five to six buses including the coach of Aslam Dandai service bearing registration number BSA- 168, which were traveling to and from Karachi to Gwadar and offloaded 16 of the passengers after confirming their identity,” according to another police officer in Quetta.
“It was a confirmed attack of targeted killing and the victims were identified via their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs). They were shot dead at point blank range,” he added.
Soon after the incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families while “strongly condemning the dastardly act of terror in Buzi Top area”. According to a statement, the prime minister has called for a report on the incident and directed the authorities to make every possible effort to identify and bring the perpetrators of the barbaric act to justice.”
The police officer said two passengers managed to escape the massacre and reached a nearby Levies check post. They were shifted to the Ormara Hospital for treatment.
Law enforcement officials backed by Levies arrived at the scene. Later, the victims’ bodies, some badly mutilated, were recovered from the Noor Baksh Hotel. The bodies were later shifted to the Darmanga Hospital in Ormara.
The police said the identity of the victims will be ascertained. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In 2015, a similar attack occurred in Mastung in which gunmen abducted over 20 passengers from Karachi- bound buses who were later killed in the Khad Kocha mountainous region.
Just last week, a terror attack targeting Hazaras in Quetta left 20 people dead and scores other wounded. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal has condemned the Buzi Top incident and offered condolences to the victims’ families.
The people of Balochistan abhor terrorists and their dirty acts, he said, pledging that terrorism would be eliminated with support of people and the anti-state elements brought to justice. “This was a barbaric attack killing innocent passengers. It was a conspiracy to halt Balochistan progress and malign the country’s image,” the chief minister added.