Gunmen kill five in southwest Pakistan: police

AFP , Saturday 23 Jul 2011

At least five workers were killed while they were building a mosque, after gunmen had opened fire on them in Pakistan's restive southwest

Two gunmen opened fire on laborers building a mosque in Pakistan's restive southwest on Sunday killing five people, police said.

The shooting took place in Naushki district, 180 kilometres (110 miles) west of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas-rich Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Baluchistan is rife with Islamist militants, and also suffers from sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shiite Muslims and a regional separatist insurgency.

"Two unidentified gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on the five laborers from Punjab province constructing a mosque in the village of Kisankuri and then fled," local police official Munir Mengal told AFP.

He said that four laborers died at the scene while the fifth succumbed to his wounds in hospital.

A local intelligence official confirmed the incident and casualties.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed since Baluch rebels rose up in 2004 against the federal Pakistani government, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's oil, gas and mineral resources.

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