Gunmen in Pakistan kill seven labourers near Gwadar port, say police

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Gunmen shot and killed seven labourers near southwestern Pakistan's Gwadar port early on Thursday, police said.

Police official Mohsin Ali said the gunmen stormed into a house some 25 km (15 miles) east of the port city and shot and killed the labourers in their sleep.

The port city is located in troubled southwestern Balochistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

No one has claimed responsibility.

Baloch separatist militants have in the past targeted labourers from eastern Punjab province, like the ones in the latest shooting.

Last month, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed the killing of nine labourers from Punjab province, who were abducted and then shot at close range after gunmen stopped a bus.

The separatists have long been fighting the government to demand a greater share in the mineral-rich province's natural resources.

Gwadar is the site of several Beijing-backed projects under the $65 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor investment as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

(Reporting by Saleem Ahmed; Writing by Asif Shahzad)