Unidentified gunmen killed at least 14 people in the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan on Thursday after ambushing a convoy of vehicles traveling on a major highway towards the country’s largest city Karachi.
The vehicles were traveling to Karachi from the port town of Gwadar when they were ambushed near the small town of Ormara, about 250km (155 miles) west of their destination, a security source said.
The dead included security forces personnel who were accompanying the convoy, he said. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The bodies of those killed were shifted to a nearby naval base, local officials told Al Jazeera.
The highway was temporarily shut down following the attack, as security forces launched a search operation in the area.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the incident was similar to previous assaults by armed ethnic Baloch separatist groups on convoys on the same stretch of highway.
In April last year, at least 14 people were killed when gunmen attacked their vehicles in the same area as Thursday’s attack.
That attack was claimed by the Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), an alliance of armed ethnic Baloch separatist groups who demand independence from Pakistan.
BRAS and its allies regularly carry out attacks targeting security forces and civilians across Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, the country’s largest and least developed region.