Kharan: 1 killed, 2 wounded in militant attack, armed group claimed responsibility

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One person was killed and two others injured when unidentified armed men reportedly targeted a hideout of “govt-backed” group in Barshonki area of Kharan on Sunday night. Baloch Liberation Army, an armed “pro-independence” group, claimed responsibility for the attack saying that the targeted group assisted the Pakistani security forces during military operations.

BLA spokesperson Jeeyand Baloch said “the BLA fighters had targeted the hideout of a Pakistan-backed death squad leader Hafiz Mumtaz in Barshonki”. “Mumtaz’s bodyguard and right-hand man Safiullah was killed in the attack and two others were wounded”, he added.

Jeeyand Baloch said that the group was active in the Noshki and Kharan region and provided support to the Pakistani security forces during their operations in the region, like showing them the mountainous paths used by Baloch sarmachars [fighters]. “The groups were also involved in enforced disappearances, kill-and-dumps and various other crimes in the region”, he said.

The BLA spokesperson claimed that Pakistani forces have given free hand to these groups to reciprocate for their services – they are involved in burglaries, drug trafficking, ransom kidnapping and other social crimes. He said that such attacks will continue until the “occupying” Pakistani forces and their accomplices are completely drawn out of Balochistan.

Baloch nationalists claim that “death squads” are a state-backed, armed militia comprising of convicted felons, local warlords, drug peddlers or ruthless mercenaries that are formed and nurtured by the Pakistani state to spy on and target anyone sympathizing with the Baloch cause. They say that in return for their services, these groups enjoy an unprecedented freedom to carry out all sorts of crimes with impunity.


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