Sunday, April 5, 2020

Balochistan: Multiple Pakistani troops killed in hours long battle

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A four hour long battle in Balochistan has left as many as 16 Pakistani personnel dead. However, Pakistani military sources have put the number of casualties at 5 dead and 3 injured.

The fierce attack was carried out against Pakistani military posts in a remote area of Turbat on Tuesday. The responsibility of the attack has since been claimed by BRAS, an alliance of four Baloch armed organisations.

According to details, multiple posts of Pakistani forces were attacked from different directions resulting in a battle that lasted for more than 4 hours. Pakistani forces have suffered heavy casualties in the attack, whereas, there has been no report of any losses to the armed attackers.

The government sources have confirmed that the outposts were completely destroyed in the attack.

BRAS or Baloch Raaji Aajohi e Sangar has released a statement claiming the attack was carried out by the fighters belonging to the “allied organisations”. BRAS is an alliance of Baloch Liberation Army, Balochistan Liberation Front, Baloch Republican Army and Baloch Republican Guard.

BRAS’s spokesperson Baloch Khan said that the attack was carried out in Drachko, Tankol Kaor in Dasht. He said, “BRAS fighters attacked the military outposts and forward operating base of Pakistani military on Tuesday night from multiple directions. The enemy installations were completely destroyed and at least 16 enemy personnel were killed in the attack. A large cache of ammunitions was also seized in the operation.”

Pakistani military sources on other hand have said that five personnel were killed, whereas, eight others were injured. However, they too have confirmed that military installations in the area have completely been destroyed in the attack.

BRAS’s statement further said that “Last night’s attack was part of Operation AasRech. The particular military bases and outposts were heavily involved in aiding and abetting death squads and fanatic Jihadi groups like Lashkar e Tayyaba. BRAS has made it clear that no leniency will be shown against such elements.”

AasRech or “to cannonade” is an operation announced by BRAS on 31st Jan 2020 against Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a Jihadi group active in Kashmir but with camps in Balochistan, and other religious armed groups after five members of the alliance were killed by an attack. BRAS alleged the attackers belonged to the jihadi organisation.

The formation of BRAS was announced in December 2018 after multiple Baloch armed groups fighting for “independence of Balochistan” joined under one banner to launch coordinated operations against Pakistani military and Chinese interests in Balochistan and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC.

The organisation has since carried out multiple large attacks against Pakistani forces and the casualties in such attacks have been relatatively very high.

In today’s statement BRAS’s spokesperson Baloch Khan added that formation of an organised and united national force is progressing extremely well in form of BRAS. “The organisation continues to significantly improve its strength and structure. The allied forces will continue to target occupying forces and their abettors until the formation of an independent and peaceful Baloch motherland,” he claimed.

Abdul Qayyum Wakeel, a senior political analyst in Balochistan, while talking to german news agency DW has said that formation of BRAS has completely changed the dynamics of Baloch armed movement and it currently exists as the backbone of the movement. “The group carried out multiple large attacks last year too, while yesterday’s attack was the third of this year,” he said.

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