|Monday, 7 February 2005|
Tribal militants blow up Pakistan rail line to Iran
QUETTA, Pakistan, Sunday (Reuters)
Suspected tribal militants blew up a railway track that links Pakistan with Iran in Pakistan's troubled southwest on Saturday, for the second time in a week, but caused no casualties.
The attack near the town of Noshki was the latest in a series of such assaults on state infrastructure by militants fighting for more autonomy in the southwestern province of Baluchistan. Noshki lies around 100 km (60 miles) southwest of the provincial capital Quetta.
Railway officials said around 3 feet (one metre) of the railway line was blown up about two hours and a half after a train from the Iranian border town of Zahadan to Quetta had passed.
The train makes a round trip to Zahadan once a week.On Thursday, militants detonated a bomb on the same rail line in Mastung, about 50 km (30 miles) south of Quetta.
In a separate attack on Saturday, a natural gas pipeline was blown up in the Dera Ghazi Khan district in the central Punjab province, close to Baluchistan, disrupting supplies to many areas.
Local police said the cause of the blast was not known but a spokesman for the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), a shadowy militant group, called journalists in Quetta and claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tribal militants have been conducting a low level insurgency against central rule in Baluchistan for decades but they have stepped up activities in recent weeks with a spate of attacks on state infrastructure, including gas fields and rail lines.
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