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No let-up in Baloch guerrilla offensive against Pakistan — three soldiers now killed near Gwadar

The latest attack follows morale sapping mega-strikes by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) on two big Pakistani military camps of Panjgur and Noshki, leading to multiple casualties (Image courtesy: Twitter/@astiyaan)

There has been no let-up in the latest Baloch guerrilla offensive against Pakistani troops, with resistance fighters killing three soldiers in a highway ambush near Gwadar, the starting point of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A convoy of Pakistani troops was targeted in the Badok area along the Makran Coastal Highway on Sunday, Balochistan Post reported. The 653-kilometre highway links Karachi in Sindh to Gwadar in Balochistan. It also passes through the towns of Ormara and Pasni.

The latest attack follows morale sapping mega-strikes by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) on two big Pakistani military camps of Panjgur and Noshki, leading to multiple casualties. The audacious strikes triggered several visits by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa to the embattled province, which is at the heart of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)– a mammoth $ 62 billion Sino-Pak undertaking which is meant to provide China access to the Indian Ocean with Gwadar port as the exit.

Significantly, the Baloch Raj Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), an umbrella organization of Baloch “pro-independence” groups, claimed responsibility for the attack.

BRAS was initially formed in 2018, when the BLA, the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), another militant outfit, and the BRA had merged. Recently the Baloch National Army (BNA), itself uniting the United Baloch Army (UBA) and the Baloch Republican Army (BRA). The two groups unite Balochistan’s two major tribes—the Marris and the Bugtis, which in the past have a history of bitter feuding. The UBA is led by Mehran Marri, while the BRA is headed by Brahumdagh Bugti. He is the son of Akbar Bugti, a leader of the Bugti tribe who was killed in 2006 in a Pakistani military operation. 

BRAS has been spreading its wings beyond Balochistan.  For instance, in June 2020, it allied with the Sindudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA)—a Sindhi militant group. The purpose of the alliance, cemented by a common rejection of CPEC, is to liberate both Balochistan and Sindh from the China backed rulers of Pakistan.

In a media statement, Baloch Khan, the spokesperson for the group, said that the Pakistani forces had encountered casualties and sustained material damage. He added that the Pakistanis had deployed military helicopters to support the ground forces.

The BRAS spokesperson said that after being “utterly vanquished” in “successful guerrilla operations” both in cities and in the mountains, the Pakistani forces are now gunning for innocent Baloch civilians. They are especially targeting Baloch students, and throwing them into prison, he observed.

Khan warned that BRAS warned that it would continue to hit Pakistani forces and their accomplices and avenge every “cruelty” that was being inflicted on the Baloch nation. 

The Balochistan Post also reported that Pakistani forces were also struck by an explosion in tehsil Pasni, Gwadar, on Sunday. The local sources have said that that a vehicle of the Pakistan Coast Guards and personnel of the Airforce was the target of the strike. A bike laden with explosives was detonated near the vehicle of the security forces, leaving two of them critically injured. 

Also Read: New Baloch National Front raises morale for an independent Balochistan