The assault took place late on May 29 in the town of Mastung, around 40 kilometers south of the provincial capital, Quetta. One person was injured and five other people rescued unharmed during the incident.

Local official Ismail Ibrahim said the attackers “forced the buses to stop, abducted more than two dozen passengers, and then shot at least 19 dead."

Sarfaraz Bugti said the attackers were wearing the uniforms of the security forces. The bodies of 19 passengers had been found so far, he said.

Security officials said around 25 passengers were taken off two buses, and an operation began to find them. The bodies were discovered in nearby hills, the officials said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan has been the scene of violence perpetrated by Islamic radicals and Baluch separatists who want a share of revenue from gas and mineral resources and complete autonomy from Islamabad. Islamist militants also regularly attack civilian and military targets, and earlier this month at least 43 commuters were killed on a bus in Karachi by a group that has declared allegiance to Islamic State.

All of the victims in that attack were Ismailis from Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite community, but one security official said the Mastung incident was unlikely to have been a sectarian attack.

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