A police officer and rescue workers stand near the derailed passenger train in Naseerabad, Balochistan, on Sunday. Reuters
Tariq Butt / Reuters
QUETTA: A blast targeting a passenger train killed four people, including a woman and her daughter, and injured another six in Dera Murad Jamali in Balochistan on Sunday, police said.
District Police Officer Irfan Bashir said that suspected miscreants planted an improvised explosive device at the railway track to target the Jaffar Express.
The incident was confirmed by another senior police official, Rao Munir Zia.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but ethnic Baloch separatists, fighting what they call the unfair exploitation of their province’s gas and other resources, have attacked trains in the past.
“Four people — a teenage girl her mother and two others were killed in the blast,” Irfan told Reuters.
The blast derailed six carriages of the train, which was travelling from the northwestern city of Peshawar to the Baluchistan provincial capital of Quetta.
It was second train attack in two weeks in the area. No casualties were reported in the earlier blast, said another police officer.
As the passenger train reached Dera Murad Jamali, there was a huge blast, he said, adding that the blast damaged a portion of the track. “Jaffar Express was going to Quetta from Rawalpindi when attacked.” Irfan said.
The injured passengers were shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies reached the spot as investigations into the incident were under way. A rescue operation was initiated after the attack.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani strongly condemned the incident and vowed that those involved in this crime would be brought to justice. He issued orders to beef up security along the track and the national thoroughfare.
Balochistan Home Minister Zia Lango also condemned the incident and said that the best possible healthcare facilities shall be offered to the victims. He directed law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) to ensure severe punishment for those who are involved in such heinous acts.
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, who was in Karachi to witness the final Pakistan Super League match, said the perpetrators would be punished at all costs. He said the law enforcers were trying to track down the culprits.