Suspected rebels blow up gas pipeline in Pakistan
QUETTA, Pakistan, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Suspected rebels blew up a gas pipeline in southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, cutting supplies to a power plant and several areas, a gas company official said.Baluch nationalist rebels
in Pakistan's biggest but poorest province accuse the central government of exploiting the province's resources without sharing the benefits among its people. They frequently attack gas pipelines in their campaign for autonomy.
No one was hurt in the early morning blast in the outskirts of Quetta, capital of the province which is Pakistan's main source of natural gas.
"They planted explosives under an 18-inch (0.45 metre) pipeline that blew out a 4-foot (1.2 metres) piece of the pipe," said Sheikh Nawaz, General Manager of the state-owned Sui Southern Gas Company.
Gas supplies were cut to four districts near Quetta and a 95 MW city power plant. Supplies might be restored to some areas within 24 hours, Nawaz said.
The rebels have been waging a low-key revolt for autonomy and a greater share of profits from resources for years. They also attack official buildings, military installations, road and rail links and power lines.
President Pervez Musharraf has promised to develop the province which borders Afghanistan and Iran. He has also promised an amnesty for rebels who give up, but vowed tough action against those who do not.http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/ISL20323.htm