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PMDC official killed in IED blast in Quetta

QUETTA – A police officer confirmed that a targeted bomb attack occurred on the outskirts of Balochistan’s provincial capital, resulting in the death of a senior Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) official on Sunday.

The PMDC plays a significant role in the exploration and extraction of Pakistan’s mineral resources, which are crucial for addressing the country’s economic challenges.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jawad Tariq, the targeted individual, Mirza Shabbar Ali, served as the PMDC project manager for the Sor Range mining facility. He was traveling to the mining site from his residence when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated, resulting in Ali’s immediate death. His driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to Quetta for medical treatment. The provincial counterterrorism department has initiated an investigation into the incident.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack at this time, Baloch separatist organizations have previously targeted security forces and mine workers in the region, particularly due to its rich coal deposits.

The PMDC operates as a semi-autonomous entity under Pakistan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, focusing on extracting resources like coal, salt, and silica sand from mining fields. Balochistan has experienced a longstanding insurgency by nationalist groups in the southwestern region, protesting the perceived exploitation of the province’s resources by the federal government.

In August, Pakistan hosted an international conference in Islamabad to showcase its vast mineral deposits estimated at around $6 trillion. The event aimed to attract foreign investors and diplomats to leverage these natural resources for economic development. Many of these mineral reserves are located in Balochistan, making the province a focal point for potential investments.

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