Partial strike in Balochistan
December 4, 2006 6:27am CST
A strike was observed in some areas of southern and central Balochistan on the call of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) on Sunday. However, the provincial capital and other areas in northern Balochistan responded only partially to the call. Kuchlak police arrested over two dozen people on charges of obstructing traffic. In Quetta, the traffic situation was near-normal. A group of people gathered on Sariab Road, Chaman railway crossing and in Huda areas, threw stones on police and tried to block the roads but police foiled their attempt. Buses and coaches left for Karachi and other cities from Quetta but the RCD Highway was blocked in Mastung, Khuzdar and Wadh areas. However, law-enforcement agencies restored traffic between Quetta and Karachi. BNP-M supporters blocked highways in Turbat, Gwadar, Panjgur, Nushki, Khuzdar, Kalat and some other areas. The blockade was lifted after heavy rain started in the region. BNP-M spokesman Agha Hasan claimed that people had given a good response to the strike call and did not take their vehicles to the roads. He said most of the vehicles in Quetta remained off the roads. He said police had used tear gas and fired blank shots near Sariab road, Chaman railway crossing and Huda for dispersing protesters. He claimed that police had arrested 55 workers of the party in Kuchlak area. There was no traffic on the roads linking Quetta with Karachi and Taftan and the Coastal Highways, he said. However, a Kuchlak police official confirmed arrest of five people and said 22 others had been allowed to go home after investigation. LANDMINE: At least five people, two of them women, were injured in a landmine blast in a village of Sui tehsil along the Sindh border, while hand-grenade attacks were reported from Nushki and Khuzdar. According to official sources, a pick-up going to Lanjo-Saghari village hit the landmine. Those injured were identified as Abdul Razaq, the driver, Tangi Khan, Lalo, Gul Khatoon and Dohi. They were taken to the PPL Hospital in Sui. "It was an antitank mine planted on a kutcha road," police sources said. Meanwhile, a hand grenade was hurled into the home of a bank officer, Muzaffar Beg, in Khuzdar. A woman was injured and two rooms of the house were damaged.