Six miners were killed and another wounded Friday by gunmen who intercepted the van carrying more than a dozen workers to a coal mine in the western province of Baluchistan, a member of Pakistan's security forces told Efe.

The attackers forced the mining company van to stop, ordered the occupants out of the vehicle and then shot some of them, frontier guard officer Bashir Ahmed said.

He ruled out sectarian motives for the killings, noting that none of the victims belonged to Baluchistan's substantial Shi'ite Muslim minority, who are the usual targets for the Sunni militants in the region.

The assault occurred at midday in the Gashtri zone as the van was traveling from Quetta, the provincial capital, to a coal mine in Mach, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) south.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Baluchistan, Pakistan's largest, least-developed province, suffers from violence from Muslim jihadis and ethnic separatists. EFE