Police: Gunmen kill 10 bus travelers in Pakistan (AP)Aug 14th, 2010 | By worldnews | Category: World
QUETTA, Pakistan – Gunmen singled out non-ethnic Baluch passengers traveling on a bus in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing 10 and wounding five others, police said.
The attack is sure to add to ethnic tensions in Baluchistan province, where a nationalist movement led by armed ethnic Baluch groups has long sought greater provincial autonomy from the central government.
The gunmen stopped the bus in Aab-e-Ghum, a town 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Quetta, the provincial capital. It carried Baluch and non-Baluch passengers, but the attackers identified those from the eastern Punjab province, forced them off the bus and shot them, police official Ismail Kurd said.
He would not speculate on who was behind the attack, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. It also was unclear exactly how many gunmen were involved.
Baluchistan is a rugged region with a lengthy and porous border with Afghanistan and Iran. It is Pakistan’s largest province, covering 44 percent of the country. It is also the most sparsely populated, with some 6.5 million people, around half of whom are believed to be of Baluch origin.
A long-running insurgency by Baluchis feeds off resentment against the central government, which they say exploits the resource-rich region but leaves them to wallow in poverty.
There is particular tension between Baluchistan and Punjab, the most populous and powerful province in Pakistan.
But the Baluchis also have had tensions with other ethnic groups in the province, such as the Pashtun and the Hazara.