Officials: Militants target Pakistan labor camp, kill 3

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) – Militants attacked a road construction labor camp overnight in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing three workers and injuring five others, officials said Saturday.

The attackers opened fire on the camp on Friday, burning vehicles and destroying machinery in a mountainous part of Harnai district, said Baluchistan provincial government spokesman Farah Azeem Shah. 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, deputy district commissioner. He said security forces launched a search, but the terrain was difficult.

He later said that two of the five workers were found nearby.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but separatist groups involved in a minor insurgency in Baluchistan have carried out similar attacks on non-local workers accusing them of taking jobs in the province. Separatist groups in the mineral and gas-rich province such as the Baluchistan Nationalist Army want Islamabad’s independence.

Separately, a militant and a soldier were killed on Saturday in a firefight in the northwestern district of North Waziristan. A military statement said security forces recovered weapons and ammunition at the site where the militant was killed. It said an intense firefight was sparked during a raid on Miran Shah, the district’s main city. The area served as a refuge for militants for years until 2014, when the military conducted massive operations to clear the region of militants.

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