QUETTA - The security forces found bullet-riddled bodies of five more labourers, belonging to Gujrat district of Punjab, in Turbat on Saturday.

According to Levies, the five dead bodies were recovered from an area of Turbat between Tajan and Heronak. The bodies were shifted to the district headquarters hospital for identification, said the Levies officials.

The recovery of five bullet-riddled bodies came just after a couple of days when bodies of 15 job seekers were found from Buleda near Turbat. They were trying to move to Europe from Iran illegally for a better future.

The officials of the district administration said all the victims, headed for Europe via Iran. have been identified as Babar Munir, Danish Ali, Usman Qadir, Saqib Ali and Qasim, all belonging to the Punjab’s district Gujrat.

The security forces cordoned off the area and started search operation to arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

The five men whose corpses were found near the Iranian border had been killed two days ago, said Balochistan government spokesman Anwaarul Haq. As with the previous 15 they were ethnic Punjabis who were illegally travelling to Iran, he said.

Senior administration official Akbar Harifal said the killings seemed to be the work of separatist groups.

The tragic incident was condemned by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri who expressed deep grief and sorrow over it. The chief minister directed the police and administration to accelerate and broaden the range of search operation in Turbat to nab those involved in the killing of the innocent citizens.

Zehri also instructed the inspector general of police to strengthen surveillance to stop those illegally crossing-the border from other provinces and expedite intelligence-based operations against terrorists.

The chief minister also ordered the IGP to carry out result-oriented crackdown against human traffickers and their facilitators with the help of the authorities concerned.

On Friday, the army said a separatist leader believed to have murdered the 15 labourers had been killed.

Baloch separatists have regularly targeted ethnic Punjabi workers, accusing them of exploiting the province.

People-traffickers use the Balochistan route to smuggle workers from Punjab province to European countries via Iran. Some die on the way due to harsh conditions or attacks by Baloch separatists.

The army said troops on Friday killed a Baloch militant commander, Younas Taukali, 25 kilometres north of the area where the bodies of the migrant workers were recovered.

“Terrorist Younas was involved in killing 15 innocent people belonging to Punjab on Nov 15,” an army statement said, adding he had also ambushed security force convoys and killed many civilians.