A Pakistani police officer has said unknown gunmen have shot eight people dead and injured one in an insurgency-hit part of southwestern Pakistan.

Senior police officer, Bashir Brohi, told the AFP news agency on Sunday that the victims were labourers from eastern Punjab province who were abducted and shot while working in Balochistan province's poultry industry.

Gunmen stormed a poultry farm in the early hours of Sunday in the town of Hub, some 640 kilometres southwest of Balochistan province's capital city Quetta.

They kidnapped 11 labourers, senior local administration official Fawad Soomro said, and questioned them over their ethnicities.

"They blindfolded the nine workers belonging to Punjab province and shot them while setting 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.

Balochistan is a sparsely populated province that is rich in mineral and gas resources province.

Baloch nationalists are demanding a greater share of economic proceeds from the area, while separatist groups have unleashed a low-level insurgency seeking complete autonomy.

They have targeted people from outside the province on several occasions in an effort to push them out of the area.

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. 

Source: AFP