Eighteen people, including women and children, have died after gunmen riding on two motorbikes set ablaze a bus at a petrol station in southwest Pakistan, officials have said.

Senior government official Abdul Mansoor Kakar said on Friday that all 16 passengers on the bus, including eight women and three children, were killed and their bodies had been severly burnt.

Two people in a nearby car were also killed after being being engulfed in flames due to fuel drums parked next to the vehicle igniting during the attack in the town of Khuzdar, in Baluchistan province.
 
Kakar said that no one had claimed responsibility for the attack and the motive was unclear, adding that the incident was under investigation but no arrests had been made.

Khuzdar is located 300km south of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan.

The region has experienced ten years of conflict led by Baluch ethnic separatists demanding greater autonomy and a larger share of the province's natural resources.

Pro-Taliban fighters are active in the province, which borders both Afghanistan and Iran.

Source: Agencies