Thousands mourn against the killings of mineworkers in Quetta
Thousands of mourners from the Shia Hazara community on Monday protested alongside the bodies of miners killed in an attack in Balochistan's Mach coal field area.
The militants of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on Sunday killed at least 11 coal miners in the Mach area of Bolan district around 100 kms southeast of Quetta.
Up to 3,000 protesters gathered with the desd bodies in coffins and blocked a bypass on the outskirts of Quetta, demanding justice.
Ethnic Hazaras make up most of the Shia population in Quetta. They have proven to be particularly vulnerable with their distinct Central Asian features making them easy targets for militants for the past several years in Quetta and its surroundings.
According to the police officials, the militants of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – a banned militant outfit slit the throats of the laborers after kidnapping them when they were on the way to work.
“After identifying as Shia Muslims, the militants kidnapped them and took them to a nearby area before opening fire at close range,” the official added.
A heavy contingent of police, Frontier Corps, and district administration officials reached the site after the incident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the miners' killing, terming it "yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism".
"Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers and bring them to justice,” he said in a tweet.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had directed the Balochistan police chief to submit a report on the incident.
Meanwhile, the members of the Shia Hazara minority in Quetta protest against the killing of 11 miners in Mach.
Sunday's attack came after a relative lull in nearly a year of violence against the mainly Shia Hazara minority in the province. In April, a market suicide bombing killed 18, half of whom were Hazaras.
Hazaras have been frequently targeted by LeJ and Daesh militants in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.