QUETTA: Three passengers of a train were killed and 11 others injured in a bomb blast on a railway track near Dasht area, some 30km from here, in Mastung district on Sunday.
Those killed and injured were railway employees travelling in the first bogey of Jaffar Express going to Rawalpindi from Quetta. The banned United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for the blast.
Railway police said the bomb planted at the track linking Quetta with the rest of the country went off soon after the train reached there.
Bomb disposal squad officials said that a remote-controlled improvised explosive device weighing around 8kg was used to target the train.
“The blast took place beneath the first bogey attached to the engine,” Mohammad Kashif, chief controller of railways’ Quetta division, told Dawn. A portion of the track was blown up in the blast that rocked the entire area.
He said the train remained on the track despite the massive blast. “The engine and other bogeys are safe.”
Soon after the incident Frontier Corps personnel and police and senior officials of Pakistan Railways reached the scene of the explosion. Security forces cordoned off the area and shifted the dead and the injured to Civil Hospital.
Officials at the hospital said that four of the injured had been discharged after treatment and the rest admitted. The condition of three of them is said be critical.
The blast caused suspension of train service between Quetta and the rest of the country. No train was allowed to leave Quetta and those on way to the city were stopped at the Sibi railway station. Those killed in the blast were identified as Ghulam Mustafa, Abdul Salam and Mohammad Nawaz. They were all residents of Quetta. The injured included Khalil Ahmad, Anayat Masih,
Mohammad Ali, Munir Ahmad, Waris Khan, Naseebullah, Ghous Bakhsh, Abdul Razzaq, Adnan and a child who could not be identified.
Railway officials said late in the evening that the damaged track had been replaced and train service restored. More security personnel have been deployed around the track linking Quetta with the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, talking to journalists on phone from an unspecified place, UBA spokesman Mureed Baloch said they had blown up the track.
Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2015