Saturday, January 08, 2005

Sui gas pipeline blown up.

QUETTA, Jan 7, 2005: At least two people, a Frontier Corps soldier and a
civilian girl, were killed and many others injured when a gas
pipeline blew up and caught fire during a gun battle between armed
men and law-enforcement personnel in the Sui township on Friday
night.

"Dozens of rockets and mortar shells were fired from both sides
during the two-hour clash," the sources said. A rocket hit the 16-
inch diameter pipeline supplying raw gas from the field to the
compressor plant, official sources said, adding that the main
compressor and purification unit were safe.

"The purification plant and all other installations of the Sui gas
field are safe," a senior officer of the plant told Dawn on
telephone from Sui. The gas supply was not affected, the sources
said.

It is learnt that the assailants started firing rocket and mortar
shells in Lundi area, some 3kms from the Sui Township, at around
8:45p.m., hitting a pipeline supplying gas to the main compressor
plant. The pipeline caught fire which was controlled by stopping the
supply of gas from the main field.

Personnel of Frontier Corps protecting pipelines and other
installations returned fire. Rockets, mortar shells and other heavy
weapons were used in the cross-fire which continued far over one
hour.

The firing stopped at around 9:50p.m., but started again at around
10:35p.m. and continued till 11:45p.m. A minor girl and one soldier
of the Frontier Corps were killed and many others were injured.

"Yes, two persons including a girl were killed in the firing,"
provincial Home Secretary Aftab Jamal told Dawn, adding that the
firing had stopped and the fire in the pipeline had been brought
under control. He said that many official vehicles were damaged.

A senior officer of the Sui administration said that the supply of
gas from main plant was not stopped to any area of the country. "Gas
supply is continuing to all areas of the country," DEO Sui M. Akbar
said. He said that a hotel close to a petrol pump was also hit in
the rocket attack.

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