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Sunday 20 April 2014

Militant group attacks quake relief officials

The rubble of a house is seen after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, September 25, 2013. The death toll from a powerful earthquake in Pakistan rose to at least 208 on Wednesday after hundreds of mud houses collapsed on people in a remote area near the Iranian border, officials said. REUTERS/Sallah Jan (PAKISTAN - Tags: DISASTER)
The rubble of a house is seen after it collapsed following the quake in the town of Awaran, southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, September 25, 2013. The death toll from a powerful earthquake in Pakistan rose to at least 208 on Wednesday after hundreds of mud houses collapsed on people in a remote area near the Iranian border, officials said. REUTERS/Sallah Jan

SEPARATIST militants fired two rockets that narrowly missed a Pakistani government helicopter surveying a region devastated by an earthquake, underscoring the dangers authorities face in helping victims in Baluchistan, the country's most impoverished province.

The doctor in charge of the main hospital in the area said the facility does not even have an X-ray machine or a laboratory and that supplies of crucial medicines were running low, as the death toll from Tuesday's magnitude 7.7 quake climbed to 355 with nearly 700 people injured.

Survivors complained aid was not reaching remote areas.

The militants fired two rockets yesterday at a helicopter carrying top officials in charge of relief operations, but missed their target, said deputy district commissioner Abdur Rasheed.

In another incident about 12 miles north of the town of Awaran, militants fired at Frontier Corps troops involved in relief operations. None of the troops was wounded.

Irish Independent

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