February 27, 2006

Militants attack train in Pakistan, no one hurt

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Suspected tribal militants
attacked a train in Pakistan's southwest province of
Baluchistan on Monday, opening fire on paramilitary guards on
board but there were no casualties, officials said.

The train was attacked near Baneri, around 80 km (50 miles)
southeast of Baluchistan's capital of Quetta, and derailed when
the driver braked after hearing an explosion, said a senior
railway official.

An engine and two carriages jumped the track, but did not
overturn and no one on board the Lahore bound train was hurt
either in the derailment or the firing, Mohammad Mushtaq, Chief
Controller of the Pakistan Railways Quetta Division, told

Earlier on Monday, three paramilitary troopers were wounded
after coming under fire from gunmen while escorting railway
workers to repair a section of track damaged by an explosion in
the Harnai area of northern Baluchistan.

Baluchistan's Home Minister Shoaib Nausherwani said tribal
militants were to blame in both cases, and accused them of
waging a campaign against government employees and people from
Punjab province.

"We suspect today's incidents are links of the chain of
attacks by miscreants. They want to target government servants
and people from Punjab," Nausherwani said.

Secessionists and tribal rebels have stepped up a militant
campaign in mineral-rich but sparsely populated Baluchistan and
much of the violence has centred on an area that is home to
Pakistan's largest gas field in the east of the province.

They want to benefit more from the local resources and say
they are being exploited by the central government and
neighbouring Punjab.