QUETTA, Pakistan — A Pakistani investigator says federal agents have arrested a “human smuggler” linked to the recent deaths of 20 people near the border with Iran.

Khalid Anees, a federal investigator, said Sunday that Mohammad Sadiq was arrested in Quetta. He said Sadiq was the key figure in a smuggling network sending people to Europe through illegal routes.

Anees said the 20 men who were killed by separatists last week in the Turbat area of Baluchistan had earlier been stationed with Sadiq in Quetta.

Bullet-riddled bodies were found of Pakistanis who were planning to cross into Iran on their way to Europe. All the victims were from the Punjab province.

Baluch separatist groups have been waging a low-level insurgency and have targeted workers from Punjab in the past.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.