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Muhammad Ejaz Khan
Saturday, August 17, 2013
From Print Edition
 
 

 

QUETTA: The Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express came under rocket and gun attack on Friday in the Dozan area of Bolan district, claiming the lives of three passengers. Thirty-one others, including women and children, sustained injuries.

 

Soon after the incident, the FC and other law enforcement agencies launched a search operation in the area. The FC spokesman said during the exchange of firing with armed men, eight terrorists, who were involved in the train attack, were killed.

 

Officials of the district administration said that the Jaffar Express was heading to Rawalpindi from Quetta when it was attacked by unidentified armed men in the Dozan area, 40 kilometres from the provincial capital.

 

“The passenger train came under attack when it was passing through the mountainous region in the Dozan area of Bolan district,” said Tehsildar Machh Zubair Kurd while talking to The News.

 

Reports suggested that some armed men had taken positions near the railway track in the mountainous region of Bolan and as the Jaffar Express approached the site at around 10:30am, they attacked it with automatic guns and rockets.

 

The Frontier Corps (FC) and police personnel, who were posted in the train for protection, retaliated. The firing between the security personnel and armed men continued for more than 20 minutes. Later, the attackers fled from the scene.

 

“I heard an ear-splitting boom of the rocket when it hit the engine. I saw blood-stained injured people lying all around,” an eyewitness told The News. The firing claimed the lives of three passengers and injured 31 others.

 

Officials of the Bolan administration and Levies force reached the spot and shifted the injured to Quetta’s hospitals where an emergency was declared.

 

Minutes after the firing, a powerful bomb exploded at the railways track two kilometres away from the site of the attack. The track was partially damaged and the train service suspended in Balochistan for two hours. However, it resumed after completion of the necessary repair work.

 

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the attack on Jaffar Express and expressed grief over the loss of lives in the attack. He directed the administration to provide the best health facilities to the injured.A spokesman for the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) telephoned media offices and claimed responsibility for the train attack.