AP: Train services linking Pakistan with neighboring Iran were suspended indefinitely following bombings and rocket attacks on the rail in southwestern Pakistan, a Pakistani official said Wednesday. Associated Press
By NASEER KAKAR
Associated Press Writer
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) – Train services linking Pakistan with neighboring Iran were suspended indefinitely following bombings and rocket attacks on the rail in southwestern Pakistan, a Pakistani official said Wednesday.
The trains connected Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, with Iran’s border town of Zahedan, said Naeem Malik, a senior official with the state-run Pakistan Railways.
Pakistan Railways had operated a return passenger service every two weeks and a weekly return freight service, he said. It is the only rail link between the two countries.
Malik said services were suspended Tuesday “until further order” for security reasons.
He said there had been five rocket attacks on the track over the past 10 days.
Authorities suspect ethnic Baluch tribesmen were behind the attacks, as part of their campaign to compel the central government to increase royalties the region receives for resources extracted there.
The tribesmen are frequently blamed for firing rockets on railroads, gas fields and security forces and carrying out small-scale bombings in Baluchistan.
On Sunday, a rocket hit a train on the Quetta-Zahedan line, injuring a guard and damaging the locomotive, Malik said.
Last month, a bomb explosion on another railway line in the restive province derailed a passenger train shortly after gunmen fired on it in a mountainous region about 50 miles southeast of Quetta. No one was reported hurt.