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Police Disperse Balochistan Bus Massacre Protest

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

Police in Quetta, the provincial capital of Pakistan's Balochistan Province, have dispersed hundreds of protesters who were staging a sit-in in front of the governor's office to protest what they say is a lack of protection by the government.

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports the sit-in followed the shooting deaths by unknown gunmen of 20 people on May 29 as they were traveling on a bus, 40 kilometers south of the capital.

Witnesses say the killings appear to have been ethnically motivated, as gunmen dressed as security officers boarded the bus and demanded identity cards. The victims were then offloaded. Pashtuns were killed, while Baluchis were spared.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials have launched a manhunt.

The provincial government has declared a three-day mourning period.

Balochistan has been the scene of violence perpetrated by Islamic radicals and Baluch separatists who want a share of revenue from gas and mineral resources and complete autonomy from Islamabad.

With reporting by AP and dpa