On 3 January 2021, a group of Islamic State (IS) militants killed 11 Hazara coal miners after being kidnapped in Machh, Balochistan, Pakistan.[1]

Machh attack
Part of the insurgency in Balochistan, Sectarian violence in Pakistan, and the persecution of Hazara people
LocationMachh, Balochistan, Pakistan
Date3 January 2021
Perpetrator Islamic State – Khorasan Province
MotiveAnti-Shi'ism, Islamic extremism

The attack Edit

The miners were on their way to work when the gunmen ambushed and dragged them into the nearby mountains.[2]

All 11 miners were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs before having their throats slit. Video of the miners' murders shows the dead men strewn out on the floor of a village hut. The victims were members of the minority Shia community.[3]

Protests Edit

Not long after the attack, Hazaras blocked roads and burned tires in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province. They gathered to protest the terror attacks on them and to demonstrate their minority rights. They demanded that the Prime Minister visit them and personally assure them that justice would be served in the case of the lynched miners.[4]

A demonstration organized by the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen in Karachi continued for three days at over twenty locations in the city.[5][6] Balochistan's Shia Hazara community continued a sit-in protest with the dead bodies for six straight days on Quetta’s Western Bypass, refusing to bury the murdered miners.[7][8]

Government action and burial Edit

The government ordered the law enforcement agency to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, with Prime Minister Imran Khan denouncing the murders as "an inhumane act of terrorism".[9][10]

The Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad also visited the families of the victims and assured them that the culprits involved in the attack will be brought to justice at all costs. He expressed condolences to the families of victims and announced compensation for them.[11] The attack was also condemned by Afghanistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan stated that seven Afghan Hazaras were among the 11 miners who were killed.[12]

On January 9, 2021, the miners were buried at Hazara Town cemetery in Quetta.[13] The same day, Imran Khan reached Quetta where he met the families of the murdered miners.[14]

Claim of responsibility Edit

In due course, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack through the Telegram communication channel of the Amaq news agency.[3]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Yousafzai, Gul (3 January 2021). "Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Pakistan's Shi'ite Hazara minority that kills 11". Reuters. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Pakistan coal miners kidnapped and killed in IS attack". BBC News. 2021-01-03. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  3. ^ a b Syed Ali Shah (2021-01-03). "At least 11 coal miners shot dead in Balochistan's Mach area after being kidnapped". DAWN.COM. Reuters; AP. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  4. ^ Ahmed, Khaled (2021-01-06). "Killing Hazaras in Pakistan". www.newsweekpakistan.com. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  5. ^ "Karachi roads blocked as Machh protests enter third day". SAMAA TV. January 8, 2021.
  6. ^ "Traffic disrupted as protests against Hazara killings continue at 20 sites in Karachi". Dawn. January 7, 2021.
  7. ^ "Hazaras continue Quetta protest on 5th day, refuse to bury slain miners despite PM's request". Dawn. January 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "Hazaras sit-in protest with dead bodies of slain miners enters 5th day". Dunya News. January 7, 2021.
  9. ^ Gul, Ayaz (3 January 2021). "Gunmen Kidnap, Execute 11 Miners in Pakistan". Voice of America. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Pakistan: Gunmen kill 11 minority Hazara coal miners in Baluchistan". Deutsche Welle. 3 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Sheikh Rasheed announces compensation for victims of Machh incident". ARY News. 5 January 2020.
  12. ^ "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the killing of 10 coal miners in Baluchistan, Pakistan, and says seven of them were Afghan citizens". TOLOnews. 4 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Slain miners laid to rest in Quetta's Hazara Town". Dawn. January 9, 2021.
  14. ^ "PM Imran visits Quetta, meets families of slain Hazara miners". Dawn. January 9, 2021.