Following attacks on relief helicopters and convoys in the earthquake affected areas of Balochistan, there were rocket attacks aimed at the Awaran district headquarters on Monday. Chief Minister’s vehicle, parked at a government building was among those hit by the two rockets. No one was injured.
Jan Muhammed Buledi, spokesperson for the Balochistan’s Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch told The Hindu over the phone from Quetta that it was completely untrue that Chief Minister’s convoy was attacked. The rockets were fired at around 6 a.m. on Monday and some fragments had hit his vehicle but Dr. Baloch was not staying at the place where it was parked, he said.
He put the two quakes’ toll at 376 dead and 815 injured. About 33,000 families in Awaran and 8000 families in the Turbat region were badly affected, he added. Since the beginning of relief operations, rockets have been fired at the helicopter carrying the head of the Pakistan Disaster Management Authority and senior army officials. Four Frontier Corp troops were killed and three injured when a convoy was attacked which was carrying relief material at Panjgore.
On Saturday, eight trucks were hijacked at Nokjo from a relief convoy while it was moving from Khuzdar towards Gajjar Bazar, military sources said.
Awaran is home to Allah Nazar Baloch who heads a guerrilla force there. Attacks on relief trucks and security personnel and officials continue despite appeals.
Meanwhile on the directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired a high level meeting in Islamabad on Monday to review the Balochistan Earthquake Relief work.
According to an initial assessment, 5,000 families have been affected and around 125,000 houses partially or completely damaged, a statement from the PMO said. A Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for Balochistan Earthquake Affected has been established.
The Balochistan government has committed to providing free rations in the Awaran and Turbat areas for two months. So far, an estimated 18,000 food packets have been distributed at Awaran and almost the same number in other places. The PMO statement said that medical teams were in the area with 52 doctors, 71 paramedics and 41 Ambulances. China has donated 3,350 tents and 20,000 blankets along with generators, water purification plants and life saving drugs.