Bomb on train kills six in Balochistan
22 October, 2013
QUETTA: A bomb hit a passenger train in Balochistan on Monday, killing at least six people and wounding more than 17 others, officials said.
The device, apparently planted on the railway track, exploded when the train approached a station in Naseerabad District, around 250 kilometres southeast of Quetta.
"It was a bomb blast, the target was the passenger train. At least six people have been killed," provincial Home Secretary Asad Gilani told AFP, adding that more than 17 others were wounded in the blast. Zafar Shah Bukhari, a senior official in the area, confirmed the attack on the Jaffar Express, travelling from Rawalpindi to Quetta, and the death toll.
"We have taken the dead bodies and injured to the nearby hospital," Bukhari said, adding that the condition of six of the injured was critical. The explosion derailed the train, Bukhari added. The identity of those killed in the attack was not yet clear but Gilani said some security personnel were travelling in the train. "All those killed were men but women and children were among the wounded," Bukhari said. Police and other security personnel cordoned off the area after the blast.
An intelligence official said bomb disposal experts were examining the site to determine the nature of the blast and check for any more devices. Bukhari said one of the compartments of the passenger train was badly damaged due to the intensity of the explosion. Faiz Bugti, a senior railway official in the area, told AFP that the train service had been suspended as the blast has damaged the railway track. Javed Ahmad, another railway official, told AFP that work to clear the track would take hours.
The dead included three brothers and a woman. Rescue teams rushed to the site shortly after the incident and shifted the dead and injured to the Sibi and Dera Murad Jamali district headquarter hospitals where a state of emergency had already been declared. "It was a remotely controlled device that targeted the Jaffar Express," said Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti. He announced one million rupees for each person who died in the blast.
Khan Mohammed, a local police officer of Nasirabad, confirmed the death of six persons, adding that a dozen others sustained injuries in the blast. "A bogie was destroyed while four boogies were derailed due to the blast," he said. "At least 100-feet-long portion of the railway track was blown up in the blast. Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express, Lahore-bound Nawab Akbar Bugti Express and Karachi-bound Bolan Mail were stopped at Quetta Railway Station due to security reasons and damage to the track," said spokesperson of Pakistan Railways Abbas Ali.
A special train was dispatched to bring the passengers to Quetta. "Pakistan Railways has refunded the passengers after train services were suspended," said Quetta Division Railway SP. He said rail services would be restored soon. According to the spokesperson of Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC), Inspector General FC Muhammad Ejaz Shahid reached Dera Murad Jamali and visited the crime scene. "The FC IG was also accompanied by a team of doctors," he added.
Home Minister Sardar Sarfraz Bugti said the government will take stern action against those responsible for the blast. "The government is trying to address the problems of Balochistan through dialogue but will take action against those who take laws in their hands," he added.
Railways Minister Saad Rafique held Baloch separatists responsible for the attack. "People who claim to be fighting for the rights of Balochistan are responsible for this attack," Rafique said.