Officials say gunmen attacked a poultry farm in Hub, killing the Punjabi men and releasing Baloch workers.
Suspected separatists in Balochistan killed nine laborers on Sunday in what appeared to be an ethnically motivated attack, officials said.
The gunmen stormed a poultry farm in the early hours of Sunday in Hub, kidnapping 11 laborers, according to senior local administration official Fawad Soomro, who said the hostages were then questioned over their ethnicities.
“They blindfolded the nine workers belonging to Punjab province and shot them while setting the two Baloch workers free,” he said. He added that the freed Baloch workers made their way to a local police station to report the crime.
Akbar Harifal, another senior district administration official, confirmed the incident. “Hub is a developing industrial town where most of the workforce comes from Karachi and from cities in Punjab province,” he said.
Resource-rich but poor Balochistan is in the midst of its fifth uprising against Pakistani rule. Its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.
Separatists also chafe at the outsize influence of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, and the influx of migrant workers from other parts of the country.
Last week the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that more than 300,000 people including religious and ethnic minorities had left Balochistan over the past 10 years due to rising unrest. Hundreds of soldiers and militants have been killed in fighting since the insurgency was revived in 2004.
Rights groups allege security forces have also fuelled bloodshed by picking up non-militant separatists, including academics and students, torturing them and dumping their bodies on the streets.
The current insurgency gained in intensity after the 2006 killing of 79-year-old Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a revered figure for many rebels.