QUETTA: At least three paramilitary troops were killed on Sunday in a landmine explosion in Balochistan, which has been in the throes of a deadly tribal insurgency and ethnic violence.
“A vehicle carrying paramilitary Frontier Corps troops hit a landmine in the restive Sui area of Dera Bugti,” a source told The Express Tribune. In the ensuing explosion three troops were killed and two wounded.
The troops were on a routine patrol in the region when their vehicle hit the landmine planted by tribal militants.
Soon after the incident, security forces rushed to the site to ferry the casualties to a nearby state-run hospital. The dead were identified as Qasim, Shadi Khan and Qudratullah – all low-ranking officers.
The outlawed Baloch Republican Army reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesperson said that they targeted the vehicle of paramilitary troops.
In other violence, at least 10 people were injured in a grenade attack near a busy restaurant in Quetta on Sunday.
Unknown motorcyclists lobbed a hand grenade at a Paan shop near the busy Mir Hotel on Joint Road in Quetta, police said. In the ensuing blast 10 people were wounded. The attackers fled unchallenged.
The casualties were shifted to the Provincial Sandeman Hospital for treatment where medics said their wounds were not life-threatening.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack which police said they were investigating.
In another incident, tribal insurgents blew up an 8-inch diameter gas pipeline in the Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti on Sunday. As a result, the gas supply from Well No 22 to the Purification Plant has been suspended.
Police said the insurgents had planted an explosive device underneath the pipeline which exploded with a bang.
A contingent of security forces cordoned off the area to allow the engineers to repair the damaged pipeline. They also began searching for the attackers in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.
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