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Militants kill 5, kidnap 5 in southwest Pakistan

By Reza Sayah, CNN
  • A dozen gunmen in fake uniforms fire on police officials in Balochistan
  • In another incident, gunmen kidnap 3 other police officials
  • Authorities do not yet know who is responsible
  • Balochistan has been torn by sectarian violence

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Armed militants gunned down five police officials and kidnapped five other people in southwest Pakistan on Wednesday, a government official said.

The police officials were traveling in a vehicle in Balochistan province when at least a dozen gunmen wearing fake uniforms cut off their vehicle and opened fire, said provincial Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani.

The attack occurred 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Quetta, Durrani said.

In two separate incidents nearby, gunmen also kidnapped a senior police official, two police officers and two civilians.

It's not clear who was responsible for the incidents or if they are linked, Durrani said.

Balochistan is Pakistan's poorest province. For decades, it has been torn by sectarian violence and separatist Baloch militant groups who demand political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the province's natural resources.

The Pakistani military has responded with severe crackdowns on the separatist groups, with human rights groups accusing them of extrajudicial killings and abductions.