Gunmen kill six in southwestern Pakistan: official

Gunmen riding motorbikes shot dead six labourers working on a dam Sunday in the latest deadly attack in Pakistan's restive southwest, officials said.

The drive-by shooting took place in the Shadi Kaur area 1,100 kilometres (683 miles) southwest of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

The victims were speakers of Pushto, a language spoken mostly in northwest Pakistan, officials said. No group claimed responsibility.

It comes after two recent deadly bombings in Quetta targeting the Shiite Hazara minority which left more than 180 people dead, and which were claimed by a Sunni Muslim extremist group.

As well as sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites, Baluchistan has been hit by Islamist militancy and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP that the six men were labourers who "were working on a small dam project when two unidentified gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire, killing them on the spot".

He said that the gunmen did not cause any harm to an 11-year old boy working with the labourers. A senior local police official, Sayeed Ghayas-ud-din, also confirmed the incident and casualties.

Meanwhile in Baluchistan's Qilla Abdullah district which borders Afghanistan, the paramilitary Frontier Corps killed two members of a gang of weapons smugglers on Sunday, a corps spokesman said.

"Four members of the gang were also arrested after a gun fight," he told AFP.