Power pylons blown up

Published July 5, 2006

QUETTA, July 4: Power supply to several areas of the troubled Kohlu and Dera Bugti districts was disrupted on Tuesday after armed men blew up two large pylons of the Kohlu-and Barkhan transmission line and destroyed Kashmor-Sui line.

Armed tribesmen also fired over 100 rockets and mortar shells on a camp of security forces in the Lehri area of Sibi district.

On the other hand, security forces launched a fresh operation in some parts of Dera Bugti district to flush out armed tribesmen from their hideouts.

Bugti tribesmen claimed helicopter gunships and jet fighters were conducting air raids in the area and that the resisting tribesman had shot down a helicopter gunship and killed some security personnel in a gunbattle.

“There is no power supply in Kohlu, Maiwand, Sui and Dera Bugti towns and surrounding areas,” a spokesman for the Quetta Electricity Supply Company said while confirming the blowing up of the electric towers and transmission line.

According to Qesco officials, unknown saboteurs planted high explosives around two big towers of Kohlu-Barkhan transmission line in the Laseyzai area and blew them up, disrupting power supply to major parts of Kohlu and Maiwand areas. They also destroyed Kashmor-Sui transmission line, suspending power supply to Sui and Dera Bugti towns.

Sources said the company was making efforts to restore power supply to the areas as soon as possible but it would take some time.

Sources said that the latest operation in Dera Bugti started on Tuesday night and the noise of a heavy exchange of fire was heard in the neighbouring Pat Feeder area.

Helicopter gunships attacked various areas in Sangsilla, Toba Nokhani, Zin Koh and Pather Nullah. Sources claimed that militant camps in the areas were destroyed.

No further details of operation were available.

However, a spokesman for the Bugti tribesmen claimed that the forces were also using jet fighters against the tribesmen resisting the operation.

He claimed that security forces had suffered huge human losses and a helicopter gunship was shot down and two others hit and damaged by the tribesmen.

“Three troops were killed by retaliating tribesmen in the Ghori area,” Nabi Bakhsh Bugti told Dawn over telephone.

However, there was no official confirmation of the claims.

Meanwhile, a bomb went off in the residential compound of Sheikh Zaid Hospital at Kharan, creating panic among people and shattering windowpanes of nearby buildings.

Militants opened fire at an FC checkpost at the Gul Bakht area. A rocket was also fired at the post.

A train carrying supplies for the Frontier Constabulary came under fire at the Nari Gaj area on the Sibi-Harnai railway section.

No one was hurt in these incidents.

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