RAHIM YAR KHAN

The Shalimar Express derailed as a result of the remote control bomb which exploded near Sadiqabad Railway Station here Saturday night causing suspension of rail traffic for seven hours on the main railway track.

Meanwhile, Sarbaz Baloach, an office-bearers of the Baloach Republican Army (BRA), called local journalists from cell number +8821621012660 and claimed the responsibility of the bomb blast.

He said in his talk that they carried out the blast with remote control device. He said that the attack was in the reaction to the military operation in Balochistan especially in Makran and Dera Bugti. He warned in his message that if the military of Punjab continued the operation in Balochistan, his outfit will continue such activities.

The blast took place between Adam Sahaba and Sadiqabad railway stations, some 17 kilometres from Rahim Yar Khan. The 28 down Shalimar Express was passing through the track when the blast occurred but it only derailed the train. A three-feet hole appeared under the track and the rail traffic remained suspended on both up and down tracks.

Pakistan Railways Divisional Superintendent Farukh Taimur Ghalzai, Railway police, a bomb disposal squad and Rescue 1122 teams reached the scene and started their efforts to restore the main railway tracks. Station Master Rahim Yar Khan Manzoor Mashoori said that after the blast, down Pakistan Express was halted at Rahim Yar Khan while up Allama Iqbal Express was halted at Sadiqabad Railway Station.

The up track was restored at 2.50am while the down track was restored at 6.45am. Sources said that the railway police were absent from duty on the track while the district police were assleep in a nearby patrolling post. Spokesperson of DPO Arshad Nawaz said quoting the DPO that the SHO sadder Sadiqabad was present on the stone number 119 when blast occurred at stone number 134. However, he added, there was shortage of police force in the district and the remaining force were performing duty in flood-hit areas of the district.

He further said that the DPO had ordered to depute 100 policemen at the railway track for security measures. DPO will soon arrest the culprits involved in the incident, he said.

News agency adds: The railway traffic was restored on both up and down tracks on Sunday more than nine hours after the blast derailed the train near Sadiqabad town of South Punjab.

According to reports, trains from Lahore to Karachi and Karachi to Lahore started operating on the track that was repaired by railway authorities following the late Saturday night blast. The railway track blast took place near Sadiqabad town causing derailment of engine of Shalimar Express passenger train.