Police search for gunmen who killed 11 bus passengers

QUETTA, Pakistan — Pakistani police searched for gunmen who killed nine people after abducting them from a bus on a highway in the country’s southwest. The same attackers earlier killed two people and wounded six in another car they forced to stop.

The abductions took place on Friday in Baluchistan province, which has long been the scene of an insurgency by separatists fighting for independence.

The outlawed Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

It said it had information from sources that plain-clothed spies were on the bus, according to a statement from the group. The gunmen killed the nine men after checking their ID cards to ensure they were intelligence officers.

The group offered no evidence to support the allegation that spies were on the bus.

Earlier Saturday, deputy commissioner of police Habibullah Mosakhail said the gunmen had set up a blockade, then stopped the bus and went through the passengers’ ID cards. They took nine people with them, all from the eastern Punjab province, and fled into the mountains, he said.

Police later recovered nine bodies under a bridge about five kilometers from the highway.

On Friday, the same gunmen had opened fire at a vehicle that failed to stop for their blockade, killing two and wounding six, police said.

A search for the perpetrators was underway, Mosakhail said. The bus was heading from the provincial capital of Quetta to Taftan, a town bordering Iran. / AP

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