Officials: Extremists head to labor camp in Pakistan, kill 3

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KWETA, Pakistan – Extremists attacked a road construction camp in the southwestern province of Balochistan overnight, killing three workers and injuring five others, officials said on Saturday.

The attackers opened fire on the camp late Friday, burning vehicles and destroying vehicles in a mountainous part of Harnai County, said Farah Azim Shah, a spokesman for the Balochistan provincial government. She said the camp was part of a local company working on a road construction project.

Five workers have disappeared from the camp since the attack, said Rafik Tarin, the district’s deputy commissioner. He said security forces have launched a search operation, but the terrain is difficult.

He later said two of the five workers were found nearby.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but separatist groups involved in a low-level riot in Balochistan have staged similar attacks on local workers who are accused of working in the province. Separatist groups in the mineral- and gas-rich province, such as Balochistan’s Nationalist Army, are demanding independence from Islamabad.

A separate fighter and soldier was killed in a shootout in the northwestern region of North Waziristan on Saturday. A military statement said security forces found weapons and ammunition at the site of the extremist’s killing. It says there was an intense exchange of fire during an attack on Miran Shah, the district’s capital. The area served as a refuge for extremists for years until 2014, when the military carried out massive operations to clear the region of extremists.

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