Jan 27, 2014, 1:14 PM
News Code: 2626585
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Another 215 Shia pilgrims airlifted to Quetta from Dalbandin

Islamabad, Jan 27, IRNA - As many as 215 more Shia pilgrims have been airlifted from Pakistan’s southwestern town of Dalbandin to provincial capital Quetta, local media reported on Monday.

Two aircraft the pilgrims travelled in were provided by the Pakistan Air Force.

Returning from Iran, Iraq and Syria, they had been stranded in Dalbandin near the Iranian border in the wake of suspension of the road route between Quetta and Taftan following a devastating attack on a pilgrims’ bus last week.

“With this last group reaching Quetta, we have airlifted all Shia pilgrims who had been stranded at Dalbandin airport after the Mastung carnage that killed 28 pilgrims and injured 35, including women and children,” provincial Home Secretary Asad Gilani told media.

In total, around 350 pilgrims have been shifted to Quetta in three flights of C-130 planes.

“On reaching the border town of Taftan after crossing the border from the Iranian territory, they were taken to Dalbandin airport amid tight security,” he said.

“We have no idea about the number of pilgrims who are still in Iran, Iraq and Syria but expect that more pilgrims may be on their way home from these countries,” he said and added that strict security would be provided to returning pilgrims.