Gwadar Massacre: 7 labourers killed in terrorist attack on residential quarters

The cold-blooded killings sent shockwaves across Balochistan, sparking strong condemnation from the provincial government who termed it “open terrorism” against innocent Pakistani citizens.

Seven labourers were gunned down and one critically injured when unidentified militants stormed their residential quarters in Gwadar’s Surbandar area in the early hours of Thursday. The victims, all hailing from Punjab’s Khanewal and Lodhran districts, were asleep when the assailants barged in and opened indiscriminate fire, police officials said.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zohaib Mohsin, the gruesome incident took place around 3 am within the jurisdiction of Gwadar’s coastal town of Surbandar, located around 25 kilometres away. The labourers worked at a local barbershop as reported by Dawn.

Mohsin revealed that the deceased were non-locals while the injured man belonged to Mian Channu, a town in Khanewal district. In the aftermath, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a manhunt to track down the perpetrators. The bodies and the injured were shifted to Gwadar Hospital.

The cold-blooded killings sent shockwaves across Balochistan, sparking strong condemnation from the provincial government who termed it “open terrorism” against innocent Pakistani citizens. “We will chase after terrorists and their facilitators…whatever force is needed against the terrorists will be used,” vowed Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo in a stern statement.

Bizenjo assured that the families of the victims would not be abandoned and pledged full support. “The writ of the state would be enforced in any case. Every single drop of the blood of Pakistanis will be accounted for,” he asserted.

Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langau echoed similar resolute views, calling the killings a “cowardly act” and vowing to bring the terrorists to justice at all costs. “The killing of innocent labourers is a cowardly act…the terrorists will be dealt with strictly,” he stressed.

No terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, the source and motive seem clear from the nationalist insurgents who have been waging a separatist rebellion for decades against the state, alleging subjugation and resource exploitation by Islamabad.

The mineral-rich but impoverished province has long been a flashpoint of simmering ethnic, religious and sectarian violence. Despite multiple operations by Pakistan’s security forces, militancy continues to draw lifeblood from the grievances of the Baloch populace.