Militia kidnapped in deadly Pakistan attack: officials

AFP , Saturday 26 Jan 2013

Armed men raided a pro-government tribal militia post in southwestern Pakistan, killing one man and abducting five, officials say

Dozens of armed men raided a pro-government tribal militia post in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, killing one man and abducting five, officials said on Saturday.

The early morning raid took place in Dera Bugti district, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Quetta, they said.

"Armed men believed to be several dozens attacked the post and whisked away five members of the tribal force in their vehicles after forcing them to surrender," provincial chief secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP.

One man who resisted was shot dead by the assailants, he said.

Local administration chief Syed Faisal Shah confirmed the raid, saying security forces had been rushed to the area and a search operation had been launched.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The government set up a lightly armed tribal force, known locally as a peace force, to help security forces tackle militant violence in the region.

Baluchistan is rife with Islamist militancy and home to a regional insurgency, which began in 2004. The insurgents demand political autonomy and a greater share of profits from oil and gas resources.

The province has also become a flashpoint for sectarian violence between Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites, who account for around 20 per cent of the country's 180 million people.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf earlier this month sacked the provincial government in Baluchistan after meeting Shiite Muslim protesters demanding protection after a huge bomb attack that killed 92 people.

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