| QUETTA, Pakistan, April 8
QUETTA, Pakistan, April 8 At least 12 passengers
were killed and more than 30 wounded on Tuesday when militants
bombed a train in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, hospital
sources and officials said.
The blast came a day after Pakistani security forces said
they had killed 30 separatist militants in one of the biggest
clashes in months in the gas-rich province.
There was no claim of responsibility for the blast and it
was not clear if it was related to the fighting. As well as the
separatists, Islamist militants operate in Baluchistan, which is
on the borders of Iran and Afghanistan.
The bomb went off on the Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express in
a carriage reserved for men, in the town of Sibi, 120 km (75
miles) southeast of the provincial capital of Quetta.
"Fire engulfed the (carriage) following the blast causing
most of the deaths," said a rescue worker. Railways Minister
Khawaja Saad Rafique confirmed the death toll.
Government officials did not identify which militant group
they believed was responsible.
The low-level separatist insurgency in Baluchistan is one of
the chronic security problems undermining stability in
The separatists accuse the government of stripping the
province's natural resources and leaving its people mired in
poverty. They say government-backed death squads routinely
abduct, torture and execute ethnic Baluch, accusations echoed by
human rights campaigners.
The security forces deny violating human rights.
Insurgents have also targeted civilians, especially
Pakistanis from other ethnic groups who have settled in
The government tightly controls access to the province and
it is difficult for foreign journalists to get permission to
(Additional reporting By Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Katharine
Houreld and Robert Birsel)