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11 coal miners killed by armed attackers in Pakistan

11 coal miners killed by armed attackers in Pakistan
© Getty Images

At least 11 Pakistani miners from the Hazaras minority group were abducted and killed and four more were injured early on Sunday, The New York Times reports.

The Times notes that Hazaras are often targeted by Sunni extremists, having faced repeated attacks in the past. The attackers have not been identified and no groups have claimed responsibility for the killings.

Officials said the incident occurred in the small mining town of Machh in Balochistan Province, the largest and least populated of Pakistan's four provinces. The victims’ hands were tied behind their backs and were also shot at close range. Their throats were also cut, the Times reports.

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Hazara activist Ali Raza received the miners’ bodies in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province.

“Their clothes from the front were almost fully bloodstained,” Raza told the Times. “Bruises on bodies also suggest that they were dragged.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attacks on Twitter, calling them, “yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism.”

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"The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the [government,]" he added.

The attacks sparked protests from members of the Hazara community on Sunday, blocking off a highway in Quetta, reports the Times. The bodies of the miners were placed on the road as protesters called on authorities to keep their promise of safety for their community.

Local Hazara leader Haji Jawad said of the killings, “This is an attempt to sabotage peace in the province and to provoke sectarian strife."