Three people were killed and four others were injured during oil and gas exploration in Harnai district, Balochistan on Wednesday.
Militants fired at the men from a mountain in Shagla area, Harnai district. Those killed include two officials from BGP Oil and Gas Services Company and a security guard. Both the dead and injured were shifted to a nearby state-run hospital for treatment.
Frontier Corps personnel escorting the company’s officials fired back at the assailants, but the attackers escaped.
Banned outfit Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack and its spokesperson said his group will continue to target people involved in exploration of oil and gas in any part of Balochistan.
Calling from unspecified location, the BLA spokesperson, who introduced himself as Merak Baloch, said that the BLA had kidnapped three employees from BGP after the attack. “The men were from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and are in the custody of the BLA,” he said.
Officials said three employees went missing after the attack. However, they did not confirm whether they had been kidnapped.
Earlier, the BLA had kidnapped seven employees of Oil and Gas Development Company near Quetta last month. The employees were released, but only after they were threatened from doing any exploration in Balochistan. There is no formal confirmation if any ransom was paid.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2011.