The military said the soldiers were distributing humanitarian aid when their vehicle hit the roadside bomb in Mashkay area of the quake-hit district. —File Photo
The military said the soldiers were distributing humanitarian aid when their vehicle hit the roadside bomb in Mashkay area of the quake-hit district. —File Photo

QUETTA: Two soldiers were killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing in Balochistan’s Awaran district near the epicentre of a devastating earthquake earlier last week.

The Pakistani military said the soldiers were distributing humanitarian aid when their vehicle hit the roadside bomb in Mashkay area of the quake-hit district.

“We are there to provide relief for the local people. We will continue the relief work for our Baloch brethren even if attacks continue,” said Major General Samrez Salik, who oversees the relief operations.

The blast also left four others injured.

According to a foreign news agency, separatist militant group Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We claim responsibility for Wednesday morning attack on troops near Mashkay. We will step up such attacks in coming days,” Allah Nazar Baloch, head of the BLF, told Reuters.

Awaran is considered one of the most sensitive and troubled districts of Balochistan and is also the hometown of the Baloch rebel commander.

The district’s Mashkay area was badly affected by the 7.7-magnitude earthquake which jolted the southwestern province last week, claiming over hundreds of lives and leaving thousands homeless.

Separately, army units came under fire in five other incidents throughout the day.

The army has been facing difficulties in providing relief to the quake victims due to the security situation in Awaran. Last week, two rockets narrowly missed a military helicopter and there have been several attacks on convoys carrying aid.

On Sept 30, a convoy of the chief minister of Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch escaped a rocket attack in Awaran as he was on his way to a camp office set up to carry out relief efforts.

In a statement on Wednesday, the chief minister strongly condemned the bombing in Mashkay.

According to the chief minister, Awaran has had no government for the past decade, which has led to miscreants trying their best to compromise relief efforts in the area.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, CM Baloch admitted that there were difficulties in carrying out relief activities in the quake-hit areas of the province.

Chief Minister Dr Malik Baloch has already made an appeal to Allah Nazar to cooperate with aid agencies in order to provide support to earthquake survivors.

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Comments (7) (Closed)


Yasmeen Shafi
Oct 02, 2013 12:09pm

It is a disgrace that these people are exploiting this tragedy and targeting people involved in relief activities. Why can they not halt their killing for a few days so the affected people get some food and water at least.

Omer
Oct 02, 2013 12:25pm

We all know well who these people are who want the miseries of proud Baloch to linger on. These terrorists know Army will not be deterred by such cowardly acts, so this is the time to cause maximum damage to it in terms of men and material, even at the peril of the quake victims. Still they call themselves representatives of the people; what a pity!

shabu
Oct 02, 2013 01:00pm

I think everydaybomb blasting is a govt.sponsered programme.maybe they are trying to reduce the population.

Paki
Oct 02, 2013 04:52pm

What a bunch of shameless traitors, killing our soldiers who r trying to help them. No wonder the earthquake struck that area. Sorry to say but I have no sympathies for these people

AJ
Oct 02, 2013 05:47pm

Those who claim to represent the people show their loyalty to the cause by sabotaging the relief efforts. It's an eye opener for the people to see who is there for them in their hour of need.

Dawar Naqvi
Oct 02, 2013 07:47pm

Dialogue with Taliban is a fraud, a politics, a phantom, blackmail.

Fara
Oct 02, 2013 11:09pm

I condemn this. I agree that Balochs have been deprived of their rights within Pak, but killing of army Jawans who were helping with relif efforts also show that Baloch Sardars are only concerned with their Sardari and have nothing to do with the rights and plight of Baloch people.