Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the abduction and killing of at least 11 local miners in southwestern Pakistan.

The victims were ethnic Hazaras - a minority Shiite group.

The attack happened in a small mining town in Baluchistan Province on Sunday. According to witnesses, the miners were blindfolded and shot at close range. Some had their throats cut.

Officials said that four miners survived but suffered serious wounds. They have been hospitalized.

Baluchistan Province's home minister Mir Ziaullah Langau said security forces were on high alert. Some have also been dispatched to search for the attackers.

The Islamic State militant group is responsible for several attacks in the region in recent years. The Hazaras migrated to the area from Afghanistan more than a century ago.

The Persian-speaking people have mostly lived in two fortified enclaves in Quetta with an estimated population of about 500,000. Baluchistan borders both Afghanistan and Iran and is rich in mineral and natural resources. It is one of the poorest regions in Pakistan.

The Hazaras community organized a protest Monday. A group blocked a highway going to Quetta calling on the government to make good on its promise to ensure their safety.

"This is an attempt to sabotage peace in the province and to provoke sectarian strife. We urge the government to bring the perpetrators to justice immediately," a local Hazara leader said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and described it as a "cowardly inhumane act of terrorism." Khan said that he had directed security forces to apprehend the killers and bring them to justice.