QUETTA, Pakistan – The Islamic State Group took responsibility on Sunday for an attack that killed 11 miners belonging to Pakistan’s Shi’ite Hazaras minority in Balochistan province.
The attack took place early Sunday morning in the Mach area of Bolan district, about 100 kilometers southeast of Balochistan’s capital, Quetta, and killed the miners who were in a shared living space near the coal mine where they worked.
“All miners’ throats were cut after their hands were cuffed behind their backs and [they were] folded blind, ”a security officer told Reuters, asking for anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to the media.
A video clip about WhatsApp groups, apparently filmed by a first responder, showed three bodies lying outside the room and the rest in pools of blood.
“The convicting murder of eleven innocent miners in Mach Balochistan is another cowardly inhuman act of terrorism,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet.
“I have asked the Frontier Constabulary to use whatever resources it can to arrest these killers and bring them to justice,” he said.
The Islamic State later assumed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency through its Telegram communication channel.
The attack came after a relative lull in nearly a year of violence against the province’s mainly Shiite Hazara minority.
In April, 18 people were killed in a suicide attack on the market, half of whom were Hazaras.
Following Sunday’s attack, members of the Hazara minority in Quetta blocked the western bypass and set fire to tires to protest the killings.
Balochistan is at the center of the $ 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a transportation and energy link between western China and Pakistan’s southern deep-water port, Gwadar.
Hazaras have been frequently attacked by Taliban and Islamic State militants and other Sunni Muslim militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The attacks in Afghanistan were alleged by a member of the Islamic State.
In 2013, more than 200 people were killed in three bomb attacks in the Hazara neighborhoods of Quetta.