Four colliers kidnapped in Quetta – 15 Jun 2022

Search operation underway to ensure safe recovery of abducted miners

At least four employees of a coalmine including two engineers were kidnapped by armed suspects on Tuesday in Quetta’s Hanna Urak area.

Police sources said employees of the Habibullah Coal Company were kidnapped on their way back from work.

“A search operation is underway to ensure safe recovery of the employees,” a senior administration official requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune.

He added that the kidnappers shifted the employees to an undisclosed location.

Militants in the past have also targeted security forces and abducted coalminers. Sorange and Marwar, the two areas of the provincial capital house rich coal reservoirs.

The sources also said that thousands of coalminers belonging to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab are working in the province.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

Earlier, in April last year, the remains of 16 unidentified persons had been recovered from a mass grave in Toor Chapper, a remote area of K-P’s Darra Adam Khel town.

The remains likely belonged to coalminers abducted by militants from Kalakhel area in 2011, Kohat DPO Suhail Khalid had told The Express Tribune, adding that local tribesmen were approached to identify the victims.

At least 34 coalminers had gone missing in K-P’s Shangla district in September 2011 after at least two dozen militants raided the base camp of the colliers who mostly hailed from Swat, Kohistan and Shangla districts of Malakand Division.

The security situation of Balochistan has been on the edge. On Sunday, June 12, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Balochistan had foiled terrorists’ bid to target security forces and the courts of the provincial capital through improvised explosive device (IED) explosions.

In a statement, a CTD spokesperson had said they had received a tip-off about the aforesaid attempts. He had added that a motorcycle rider, when stopped, was found to be carrying an IED installed on his bike.

The spokesperson had further said that the explosive device was later dismantled by the bomb disposal squad.

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