At least 10 people were killed in sporadic violence as life in most parts of Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province was hit on Wednesday by a strike called to mark the third death anniversary of nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who died in a military operation.
Shops were closed and traffic stayed off the roads due to the shutdown called by Bugti's Jamhoori Watan Party and Baloch National Front. It was backed by other Baloch nationalist parties. Special prayers were also organised for Bugti, former governor and chief minister of the energy-rich province.
Gunmen belonging to an unknown group ambushed a security check point and tried to blow up a gas pipeline near Jafarabad last night, the Geo news reported. In a gun battle, security forces killed seven of the attackers and captured as many.
TV channels said three security force personnel and two policemen were wounded in the exchange of fire.
Commercial activities came to a halt in provincial capital Quetta and other major towns and cities while attendance in offices and educational institutes was very thin. Authorities put in place strict security measures across Balochistan and police and paramilitary forces were deployed in sensitive places.
Bugti's son Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti on Tuesday filed a petition in a local court seeking the registration of a police case against former President Pervez Musharraf and his close aides for involvement in the "assassination" of his father.