Breaking News — In southwest Pakistan, gunmen have abducted and killed 13 bus passengers.
An official on the scene, Kashif Nabi, says that on Monday night, the bus passengers were taken from a convoy of five buses. The convoy of buses was headed from Baluchistan province to Punjab province. The bodies of the 13 abducted passengers were found by tribal police Tuesday in a nearby ravine.
Paramilitary troops, according to Nabi, provide protection for bus convoys moving through Baluchistan. However, the attackers launched an assault on a distracted nearby oil tanker to distract the troops. The troops responded, and one soldier was killed in the altercation that took place.
While the attack on the oil tanker was going on, that’s when another group of gunmen attacked the buses and took 13 passengers with them.
Thus far, no specific militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Both Islamic militants and separatist insurgents call Baluchistan home. The target of the attackers is unclear, but separatists have a history of attacking Punjabis, so it could have been the result of a further incident of the ongoing bloodshed and clashess between the Islamic militants and the separatists.
Among the 13 people abducted and killed by the gunmen were three senior security officials. The attack took place in an area of northern Pakistan where the Taliban shot to death 10 foreign mountain climbers over a month ago.
Deputy commissioner Ajmal Bhattiof Diamer of the district where the attack took place, states the officials were ambushed in their vehicle after they left his house at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Among the dead were an army colonel, a captain and the district police chief. After it was attacked, their vehicle plunged into a ravine.
According to Bhatti, Pakistani officials have been on high alert in Diamer since Taliban militants killed 10 foreign climbers in late June at a mountain base camp. To avoid attack they have been holding meetings at unusual times and places, like Bhatti’s house.
Diamer is located in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan area.
Written by: Douglas Cobb