Police confirmed that unidentified armed men had entered the office of the Online news agency on Jinnah road and opened indiscriminate fire killing three men on the spot – two journalists and a media worker, a police official said.

Senior journalist Irshad Mastoi, reporter Abdul Rasul and an accountant Mohammed Younus were all shot dead, police SHO, Hashim Shah said.

The assailants managed to flee the crime scene.

This is the first time that such a major attack has been carried out on a media outlet in Quetta. No group has claimed the attack and the motive remains unclear.

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists with Balochistan a hotspot for violence.

Seven reporters were killed in Pakistan in 2013, deaths which have been blamed on the government's inaction.

Resource rich Balochistan has been plagued by a long-running separatist insurgency with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region's natural resources and alleged rights abuses.

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