Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rocket attack rocks Kohlu on CM’s visit

Rocket attack rocks Kohlu on CM’s visit

By Azizullah Khan

QUETTA: Four rockets were fired in Kohlu district on Monday, coinciding with the arrival of Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousaf.

FC troops retaliated by firing rockets at the assailants in Kohlu, some 350 kilometres east of Quetta. A Frontier Corp (FC) spokesman underplayed the attack as a ‘routine matter’, and dismissed claims they were related to the chief minister’s visit. Unconfirmed reports alleged that the rockets landed near the helipad where the chief minister’s helicopter was scheduled to land.

Meanwhile, a man, calling himself Azad Baloch, claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the Balochistan Liberation Army and the Baloch People’s Liberation Front

Azad Baloch said that the rockets had been fired specifically in view of the chief minister’s visit. Meanwhile in separate incidents, three rockets were fired and two bombs exploded in Kohlu early Monday morning. The bombs went off near a doctor’s clinic. Local government elections are scheduled to be held in Kohlu on August 25. Baloch nationalist forces accuse the chief minister of conducting the election campaign for Pakistan Muslim League (PML) candidates in violation of Election Commission regulations. Observers believe that the chief minister’s visit to Kohlu was aimed for the PML-backed candidates’ election campaign.


3 rockets fired at FC post near Loralai

LORALAI: At least three rockets were fired at a Frontier Corps (FC) check post near the Lora Lai-Bar Khan area on Monday.

Unidentified assailants fired at least three 107 mm rockets of foreign make at the FC check post in Hostry, but missed the target.

The assailants fled the scene when the FC responded with fire. No loss of life was reported.

The local administration has initiated an investigation. online


Jam Yusuf unhurt in attack on FC camp

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yusuf escaped unhurt after seven rockets were fired at the camp of Frontier Constabulary (FC) near Kohlu, which he was visiting on Monday.

Earlier, two homemade bombs exploded in the town and in a separate attack four rockets were fired at a paramilitary post but no one was hurt, officials said. A local police officer Muhammad Riaz said, "Seven rockets were fired on the camp when the chief minister was in the building for a briefing on law and order situation ahead of Thursday’s municipal elections. The rockets fell 400 metres away from the camp."

Spokesman for the FC Lt-Col Rizwan Malik said the troops retaliated and fired 14 rockets towards the mountains overlooking the camp. "Rocket attacks on our camp are routine and the incident was unrelated to the chief minister’s visit," he added.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack and its spokesman, Azad Baloch, making phone calls to local newspapers said, "Our target was the provincial chief minister."

Earlier, a bomb explosion did slight damage to a clinic and shattered windows at several shops in the main bazaar in Kohlu, local police officer Mohammed Khan said. About three hours later, a second bomb went off in a garbage bin in the same street, shattering shop windows but injuring no one, Khan said.

Assailants also fired four rockets at the FC post on the outskirts of the town, but they missed the target and landed in a field, Khan said. The troops are in the area to keep the peace and guard government installations. Local tribesmen often resent the force’s presence in their area. Khan said four local Marri tribesmen have been arrested in a probe into Monday’s bomb explosion. Balochistan has been the scene of small-scale bombings and rocket attacks in recent years. Authorities blame local tribesmen for the violence.


Rockets rock Kohlu after arrival of CM

By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Aug 22: The township of Kohlu came under a rocket attack on Monday soon after the arrival there of Chief Minister Jam Yousuf. Sources said that the chief minister visited he area to review arrangements for the second phase of the local body elections.

The sources said that four rockets were fired at around 3.30pm from Jandran mountains in the north of the township about 10 minutes after the arrival of the chief minister by a helicopter. Mr Yousuf was attending a briefing on security arrangements when the rockets exploded.

“No rocket hit the Kohlu township,” a senior police officer told Dawn on telephone from Kohlu and said that rocket attacks had become a routine matter in the remote district headquarters.

He said that the rockets landed in open places without causing any damage to life or property.

FC personnel deployed at checkpoints in the area opened fire on positions of the assailants who, he said, escaped.

Security arrangements were beefed up and additional personnel of the Frontier Corps and other law-enforcement agencies were deployed in and around the township.

Earlier in the morning, two bomb explosions were reported from township. The first damaged windowpanes of a clinic and some nearby structures. The other explosion, near a mosque, did not cause any damage or casualty.

In another incident, three rockets fired at an FC checkpoint landed in open places.


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