QUETTA: Militants have blown up a 24-inch gas pipeline in Balochistan's resource-rich Dera Bugti district on Monday, an official said.
A security official, who requested anonymity, told Dawn that militants had planted explosive materials close to the gas pipeline in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti district.
"The explosives went off with a big bang, blowing up the gas pipeline," he said.
The blast caused suspension of gas supply from Pir Koh to the purification plant.
Frontier Corps and Levies personnel immediately arrived at the scene. The authorities faced difficulties in extinguishing roaring flames of fire.
The blast rocked the entire area and caused panic among people.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. However, the security official suspected Baloch separatists to be behind the attack.
Dera Bugti is the hometown of late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti who was killed in an operation in Kohlu area of Balochistan on August 26, 2006.
Sabotage of gas pipelines is a characteristic tactic of tribal militants and is frequently witnessed in Balochistan. However, the province also suffers from attacks carried out by the Taliban.