Pakistani earthquake aid hampered by insurgent attacks, death toll reaches 515

BY newsdesk  September 27, 2013 at 10:27 AM EDT

Photo by BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images.

As Pakistani and regional government officials attempt to administer rescue and relief aid to areas affected by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, insurgents launched attacks on military forces in a region that BBC’s Shahzeb Jillani describes as “remote and lawless.”
Babar Yaqoob, the chief secretary of the Baluchistan regional government, told reporters that the death toll from the quake had reached 515. Rescue teams continue to find more bodies in collapsed buildings.

Reuter’s reports that helicopters carrying disaster response teams were shot at with rockets. The separatist Baluch insurgents are fighting for independence from Pakistan.

The military has flown at least 10 helicopters into Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest and least populated province.

Poor road networks have made it difficult to deliver aid and supplies, and any aid that travels by land must be driven through mountains held by the insurgents.

Watch a segment from NewsHour’s Thursday broadcast for more analysis of the situation:

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Read a full transcript of the report.