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Hindu trader shot dead

world Updated: Jun 13, 2011 22:56 IST

A Hindu trader was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in a busy market in Mastung town of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan on Monday, police said.

The trader, identified only as Dewan, was killed in the main bazar of Mastung, located about 50 km from provincial capital Quetta.

The trader's body was handed over to his relatives after an autopsy at a nearby hospital.

Police officials said they had lodged a case and started a probe.

There has been an increase in incidents of harassment of the minority Hindu community in Balochistan province since last year.

Several members of the community, especially traders and businessmen, have been kidnapped for ransom or targeted with extortion demands.

Reports have said that dozens of Hindu families from the restive province have applied for asylum in India.