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Gunmen Kill 15 Migrants, Police Officer And Family In Balochistan Province

A paramedic staffer comforts a relative after a police officer and three of his family members were shot dead in Quetta.

Gunmen have shot and killed 15 men who were planning to cross into Iran on their way to Europe as well as a police official and three of his family members in separate attacks in southwestern Pakistan, officials have said.

Local officials in the mountainous region of Turbat in Balochistan Province, which borders Iran, said the 15 men ranging in age from 18 to 30 years old were killed in a mountain village.

All of them came from the populous Punjab Province, and travel documents showed they were planning to go to Europe via Iran and Turkey, likely to seek work as migrant laborers, the officials said.

Their bullet-riddled bodies were found on November 15, said officials who added that the victims appeared to have been shot at point-blank range.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killings. Baluch separatists have attacked workers from Punjab in the past. Islamic militants also operate in the region.

In the other attack, gunmen riding on motorcycles opened fire on a car carrying a deputy superintendent of police and his wife, son, and grandson, killing them on the spot, officials said.

His 4-year-old granddaughter survived and was taken to hospital, Reuters reported.

The attack in the provincial capital of Quetta came a week after a suicide bomber killed Quetta's police chief and three other officers.

"Unknown assailants sprayed bullets on the vehicle of acting Superintendent of Police Muhammad Ilyas," senior police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. The earlier suicide attack on Quetta police was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa