Three colliers gunned down in Quetta

Unfortunate incident took place on Monday night


Mohammad Zafar August 25, 2021
People wait for news of their missing relatives after an explosion at an underground coal mine on Friday, in Cucunuba, Colombia. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA:

At least three colliers working in a coal mine in Quetta were killed by unidentified miscreants on Monday night.

According to police officials, the unfortunate incident took place around midnight in Marwar area located 70kms away from Quetta.

The targeted miners used to work in two different coal mines.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Station House Officer (SHO) of Hanna Police Station, Gul Mohammad, said the deceased miners were identified as Gul Hakeem and Abdul Wakil who used to work at Dinar Coal Company and Hidayat-ur-Rehman of the National Coal Company.

SHO Mohammad added that even though the Haider check post of the Frontier Corps is merely half a kilometer away, the incident was not reported in a timely manner because there is no mobile network in that area due to a hilly terrain.

“A police team was dispatched from Hanna to bring the bodies of the slain miners to Quetta,” he said. “One of the slain miners is said to be from Quetta and two hail from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.”

Sources familiar with the matter said the motive of the attack could not be ascertained so far. However, it is pertinent to note that separatist and religious extremist groups have been implicated in similar attacks in the past.

According to the provincial minerals department, vast coal reserves are found in the hilly areas of six districts of Balochistan, including Quetta. These coal mines employ 70,000 miners, most of whom hail from K-P.

These miners face a double trouble. An average of 100 miners are killed every year due to lack of safety equipment and poor conditions inside the mines. Those miners who survive the deplorable mine conditions are either killed or abducted by militants.

The Balochistan government has deployed hundreds of Frontier Corps personnel to protect the miners.

Provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said the government has already taken steps to protect the miners and more steps would be taken in the future.

Earlier this year in May the remains of 16 unidentified persons have been recovered from a mass grave in Toor Chapper, a remote area of K-P’s Darra Adam Khel town, police said.

The remains likely belonged to coalminers abducted by militants from Kalakhel area in 2011, Kohat DPO Suhail Khalid had told The Express Tribune, adding that local tribesmen were approached to identify the victims.

At least 34 colliers had gone missing in K-P’s Shangla district in September 2011 after at least two dozen militants raided the base camp of the labourers who mostly hailed from Swat, Kohistan and Shangla areas of Malakand Division.

In the past year, 102 coal miners have been killed in Balochistan in 72 different incidents, Sultan Muhammad Lala, president of the Balochistan Coal Mines Workers Federation, had said.

He had highlighted how the government and mine owners were not ensuring safe working conditions at the sites.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2021.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read