One Survivor, Nine Bodies Pulled Out Of Pakistan Mine

Pakistani relatives carry the coffin of a coal miner from a hospital in Quetta on July 16, 2019, following a coal mine accident. BANARAS KHAN / AFP

 

Pakistani authorities said Tuesday they had rescued one miner who survived two days trapped in a coal mine after a fire that killed nine other workers in central Pakistan.

An electrical short circuit sparked the blaze on Sunday at the mine east of Quetta, the capital of oil and mineral-rich Balochistan province.

Eleven miners were working around 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) underground at the time. One was quickly saved but poisonous carbon monoxide gas hampered rescue efforts.

Officials confirmed on Tuesday that just one of the remaining ten had been discovered alive.

“We have found nine dead bodies,” Abdullah Shahwani, a top provincial official for the industry, told AFP.

The surviving miner was critically injured, he said.

Provincial government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani confirmed the toll.

The coal mine is run by the state-owned Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation.

Most coal mines in the impoverished province are notorious for poor safety standards and facilities, and similar deadly accidents have occurred in the past.

AFP

Pakistan Bomb Kills 15

Pakistan bombBombs are still going off in Pakistan, the latest target is a polio vaccination centre in Quetta.

At least 15 people have been killed in a suspected suicide bombing outside a polio vaccination centre in the south-western Pakistani city of Quetta.

Quetta’s Deputy Commissioner, Dawood Khilji, said the death toll had risen to 15, with 14 police officers and one passer-by confirmed dead. About 20 people were injured.

The BBC reported that the explosion took place in the morning as polio workers and security staff were reporting for duty before heading out on their vaccination rounds, said Sarfaraz Bugti, a Minister in Balochistan province of which Quetta is the capital.

Armed guards are routine for polio workers in Pakistan, who have been hit by many attacks in recent years.

Militants oppose polio vaccination insisting it is a western conspiracy to sterilise children.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the disease is still endemic.

 

 

Nine Killed In Pakistan Second Attack

At least nine people were killed when gunmen opened fire outside a mosque in the second attack in Quetta in south-west Pakistan in as many days.

About 20 others were wounded in the attack, which came as worshippers left the Sunni Muslim mosque after sunrise prayers for the Eid al-Fitr festival. Bullets hit the car of Ali Madad Jatak, a former Pakistan People’s Party provincial minister, but he was unhurt.

On Thursday dozens of people died in a suicide bomb blast in Quetta. In the latest attack, four unidentified men opened fire on the former minister as prayers came to a close.

“They fled after killing innocent people,” Mr Jatak, former Balochistan minister said. “I was the target. They could have fired at me. They killed innocent worshippers belonging to different communities. This is against humanity. It is brutality on the level of animals.”

Mr Jatak held a ministerial role in the Balochistan provincial government, as a representative of the PPP, which headed the last national coalition government. Four people died at the scene while the others succumbed to their injuries in hospital, a senior local police official, Bashir Ahmad Brohi told the AFP news agency.

“When people came outside on the stairs, the terrorists were already present there,” Mohammad Adnan, a witness, told the Associated Press news agency. “They started shooting and targeting many people. Two children were among the martyrs and around 20 people were injured.”

No group has said it carried out the shooting, which took place near Quetta’s eastern bypass.Quetta has seen a recent surge in sectarian violence, mostly targeting the Shia Muslim minority.

Quetta is the provincial capital of Balochistan, which is plagued not just by the Taliban’s insurgency, but also by sectarian in-fighting between Sunnis and Shias and a rebellion by Baloch separatists.

On Tuesday militants from the separatist Baloch Liberation Army shot dead 13 bus passengers 70 kilometres (44 miles) south-east of Quetta.

The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in June after promising to negotiate with militant groups.

Officials said they were preparing a comprehensive security strategy, bringing together delegates from all political parties, in an effort to combat violent extremism.

However the strategy has not yet been released, and no all-party meeting has yet been scheduled.