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Troops-militants standoff continues in Sui

* Gas installations remain under paramilitary forces’ control
* Nearly 10,000 paramilitary troops and 5,000 soldiers deployed in Sui

By Razzak Abro

DERA BUGTI

Though the security situation in Sui is normalising the security forces in and around the gas field and Baloch militants in Dera Bugti continue to take positions, reports say.

A large number of Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel had been deployed in the Sui gas field. There were several check posts of the paramilitary forces enroute to Sui and Dera Bugti from Kashmore. The paramilitary forces had been deployed at the main pipeline going to Punjab. Unofficial reports said about 10,000 paramilitary personnel were stationed in and around Sui area besides the Defence Security Guards (DSG). The paramilitary forces were backed by around 5,000 regular troops present at Kashmore and Sui. The regular troops were on standby and would act in emergency situation, reports added. Two gunship helicopters, tanks and other heavy calibre guns could be seen in Kashmore-Sui border area.

Reports said although the tension in the area had decreased, people going to Dera Bugti and Sui were being stopped and questioned at more than a dozen check posts by the paramilitary forces on the Kashmore-Sui Road. The forces check people’s identity and determine their ethnic affiliations, reports said. Reports added that only people from Baloch tribes were made to come out of the bus for checking.

Kehmchand, a van driver, alleged that some security personnel asked people whether they wanted peace or Nawab Akbar Bugti. He added that people mostly answer in favour of Nawab Bugti. Nawab Bugti, former Balochistan governor, is the chief of Bugti tribe; and the population in Sui and Dera Bugti is predominantly Bugti.

Reports said the Baloch militants who had come to Dera Bugti after the alleged rape of a 23-year old woman doctor in the first week of January were still present in the area and were waiting for instructions from Nawab Bugti. Reports said journalists were not being allowed to visit the gas plant.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Daily Times

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_20-1-2005_pg1_8

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About Razzak Abro

A Karachi based print media journalist, presently working for Daily Times as Chief Reporter at Karachi office

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