Baluch Rebels Kidnap Five Men in Southwest Pakistan

Posted July 17th, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Tribal rebels have abducted five mining officials in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province.

Police say the men were kidnapped Sunday in Sorange district, about 40 kilometers south of the provincial capital, Quetta.

Witnesses say dozens of armed men riding in three vehicles intercepted the officials near the compound where they were staying

The outlawed Baluch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and called on the government to stop its mining operations in the area.

Baluchistan province has faced an Islamist militancy, a local insurgency, and sectarian violence between majority Sunnis and minority Shi'ite Muslims.

Hundreds of people have died in recent years since rebel groups starting taking action to demand autonomy and a greater share in the profits from the area's natural resources.