Army quake relief vehicles attacked, two soldiers killed
03 October, 2013
QUETTA: Two soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed and three others wounded in a remote-controlled blast in the earthquake-stricken Awaran District of Balochistan, on Wednesday.
The incident occurred when the soldiers were transporting relief goods for earthquake victims. The banned Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) claimed responsibility for the attack. According to security sources, the incident took place in Jalwar, some eight kilometres from Mashkay Tehsil of Awaran District. An improvised explosive device planted by the militants on the roadside exploded, killing two soldiers and wounding three others.
While confirming the incident ISPR sources said the device was detonated remotely when a convoy of soldiers transporting relief goods for the quake victims passed by. A large number of security personnel rushed to the site after the explosion and shifted the injured and deceased to the hospital. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the attack and said such incidents could hamper relief activities in Awaran where according to initial estimates 25,000 families have been rendered homeless.
Calling media persons from an unspecified location BLF spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, militants had attacked helicopters and convoys with rockets and heavy weapons to scare off the security personnel, however they escaped unharmed. Awaran is one of the highly sensitive district of Balochistan and hometown of BLF's guerrilla commander Dr Allah Nazar. Militants see the movement of security personnel for relief activities a pretext to consolidate their foothold and pave the way for a military drive.
Awaran district of Balochistan was severely hit by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake on September 24 and 28, and according to unofficial reports more than 1,000 people have lost their lives in the quake. On the other hand, relief activities are underway in different tehsils of Awaran by the personnel of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and provincial government. Official sources said that 100 trucks carrying relief goods were going to affected areas on a daily basis, while patients were being provided with complete medical treatment in medical camps set by the army, provincial government and other organisations.
A senior official of the Balochistan government claimed that a donor conference would be called in Islamabad soon. The government has already appealed United Nations for help to reconstruct homes of more than 0.1 million victims.