Pakistan; MOL; Taliban; oil production; gas production; Islamic terrorism;
The Taliban broke into the Pakistani research block of the oil company involved in Tuesday’s attack twice last year. Then one security guard was killed and another was detained for five months. The second attack was repulsed. Terrorists killed six local guards yesterday.
Islamist militants attacked the Mol gas and oil well in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least four policemen and two security guards. The well, which is located in the Hangu district close to the Afghan border, was attacked by about fifty Taliban militants, said police spokesman Irfan Hán. The attackers hit it on the well marked M-8 and M-10. The defenders of M-8 repulsed the attack, but the clash at M-10 resulted in fatalities. Before the attackers retreated to their hideout in North Waziristan, west of the site, they also damaged a solar park.
So far, no one has officially claimed responsibility. Nevertheless, the Taliban are also among the armed groups that have been wreaking havoc in the region for years. The group attacks security forces and assets as part of a so-called anti-state insurgency.
Yesterday’s operation was carried out in the area of the Tal block operated by Mol, in the area of 2 wells, during which six of the Pakistani soldiers and contracted security guards lost their lives, the oil company later announced. No Mol employee was present at the site. The wells were temporarily shut down and placed in safety mode with remote access until the end of the on-site, official investigation. The incident does not affect Mol’s production in Pakistan, they emphasized.
Mol Pakistan has been active in the Central Asian state since 1999, according to the company’s website. Among their four blocks, the ones affected by the current case are the ones named Tal and Marghala.
According to Mol’s 2022 annual report, this is not the first case. On January 26, 2022, armed terrorists of the Pakistani Taliban organization attacked the wellhead marked Manzalai-8 of the Tal block with heavy fire, they write. (This is presumably the same area referred to as M-8 in the present case.) One of the well’s armed security guards was killed and one was kidnapped. None of them were employed by the Mol group. The terrorists dragged the kidnapped person to Afghanistan and demanded a ransom for him. Mol did not participate in the negotiations and did not pay a ransom. The victim was released five months later. The terrorist attack did not cause any damage or disruption to the wellhead. The terrorists do not specifically target Mol, but consider all uniformed security organizations as enemies. After the above terrorist attack, additional preventive measures were introduced. On March 17, a second attack took place at the site, but thanks to the strengthened protection, it was successfully foiled without casualties, Mol says in its report last year.
However, it appears that the Taliban have now breached the defenses. In addition to the recent announcement, the oil company did not answer our question yesterday about whether they would further increase the protection of their Pakistani plants.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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