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Gunmen kill 18 in Pakistan atttack

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 3:05 PM EDT, Fri July 6, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Gunmen kill 18 Pakistani day laborers headed to Iran for work, official says
  • The Pakistan prime minister's office condemns the attack as "cowardly"
  • A suicide attack in June killed 14 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran

(CNN) -- Attackers on motorcycles killed 18 Pakistani day laborers traveling through Pakistan's Balochistan province on their way to Iran on Friday, according to Home Secretary Naseebullah Khan Bazai.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Bazai said authorities suspect Baloch insurgents who have been fighting Pakistan's government over economic, political and human rights issues.

According to Bazai, the day laborers from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provinces were heading to Iran to seek work when four assailants on two motorcycles drew close and opened fire, killing 18 and injuring two.

The incident happened about 74 miles (120 kilometers) from Turbat, CNN affiliate GEO TV reported.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's office condemned the attack, saying in a statement that "the cowardly act will not weaken the resolve of the government and people to defeat the forces of evil."

In June, a suicide bomber attacked a bus loaded with mainly Shiite pilgrims coming from Iran, killing 14 people, including two police officers from the security detail that escorted the bus. That attack also took place in Balochistan.

CNN's Aliza Kassim and journalist Ayza Omar contributed to this report.

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