QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Militants attacked a road construction labor camp in southwestern Baluchistan province overnight killing three workers and wounding five others, officials said Saturday.
The assailants late Friday opened fire on the camp, burned vehicles and destroyed machinery in a mountainous part of the district of Harnai, said Farah Azeem Shah, spokesperson for the Baluchistan provincial government. She said the camp was part of a local company working on a road construction project.
Five workers were missing from the camp after the attack, said Rafiq Tareen, district deputy commissioner. He said security forces started a search operation but the terrain was difficult.
Later, he said two of the five workers were found nearby.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but separatist groups involved in a low-level insurgency in Baluchistan have staged similar attacks targeting non-local workers they accuse of taking jobs in the province. Separatist groups in the mineral and gas rich province like the Baluchistan Nationalist Army want independence from Islamabad.
Separately, a militant and a soldier were killed in a shootout in the northwestern North Waziristan district Saturday. A military statement said security forces recovered arms and ammunition at the spot where the militant was killed. It said an intense exchange of fire was triggered during a raid in Miran Shah, the district's main town. The area served as a sanctuary for militants for years until 2014, when the military carried out massive operations to clear the region of militants.