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Baloch rebels gun down 10 Pakistani army soldiers including a Major in stepped up guerrilla warfare

The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for attacking the occupying forces guest house and security outposts in Wali Tangi dam area of Quetta.

Freedom fighters of the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) have claimed responsibility for killing 10 soldiers of Pakistan’s army including a major in an attack on Thursday night in the Kahn area of Balochistan’s Punjgur district.

The BLF’s spokesperson Major Ghuram Baloch shared the picture of the slain Pakistani soldiers on social media.

A day before, another pro-independence group, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack on a Pakistan military guest house located at a famous tourist spot Wali Tangai dam in Quetta.

According to The Balochistan Post, the fighters of the BLA attacked the guest house killing five soldiers of the Pakistani army. The group also shared an image showing the guest house in flames.

Giving the details of the attack, BLA spokesman Jeeyand Baloch said in the statement: “At the time of attack, around 10 enemy personnel were present inside the main hall of the rest house. In the heavy attack, five personnel including Subedar Major Fazal Gul were killed and several others were injured.”

“BLA will continue to target occupying forces till the liberation of Baloch motherland,” The Balochistan Post quoted Jeeyand Baloch as saying.

These two back-to-back attacks are considered a major offensive by the guerrillas of the rebel militant group after the twin attacks on the Pakistani army camps in Panjgur and Noshki on February 15 this year and the group claimed to have killed more than 50 soldiers.

The intensified attacks on the Pakistani security forces by different militant groups have been rocking the restive state of Balochistan. The merger of two pro-independence rebel groups  the Baloch Republic Army (BRA) and United Baloch Army (UBA) to form a new outfit called Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) this year, has strengthened the ranks of the separatists in the region.

The new entity BNA has also vowed to target China’s interests in the country, including Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.

These attacks are a major cause of concern for Pakistan, especially at a time when it is already facing a resurgent Islamist challenge from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistan Taliban. TTP has recently ramped up its cross-border attacks from Afghanistan targeting Pakistani security forces.

Pakistan’s relations with the Afghan Taliban have deteriorated since the latter’s seizure of power in Kabul. Frustrated Islamabad now lacks the influence to pressure the Taliban to eliminate or handover TTP leaders and Baloch separatists based in Afghanistan.

Earlier Pakistan watchers had said that though ideologically different, the TTP could be providing support to the BLA to carry out the recent spate of attacks.

Also read:  Balochistan rebels attack Pakistani intelligence offices in Kharan city, others blow up gas pipeline

The aim of the TTP, which depends on the tribal belt along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, is to overthrow the Pakistan government and establish an emirate based on its interpretation of Islamic law. The BLA seeks independence from Pakistan and their main complaint  is that the Pakistani government has been exploiting resources in Balochistan without sharing any of the proceeds with the local tribes.

The Pakistani security forces in Balochistan have been fighting Baloch rebels as well as the TTP militants  in the area. The new government in the country has made it clear that the security forces remain “determined to thwart any attempt at sabotaging peace, stability, and progress of Balochistan”.

Also Read : In revenge for Panjgur and Noshki attacks, Pak army launches brutal crackdown against Baloch civilians