Balochistan: Gas fields under attack by armed groups

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Baloch armed groups targeted a gas pipeline and a gas and oil exploration company in two separate attacks in Balochistan’s Kalat and Dera Murad Jamali, adding to the number of attacks the forces have seen this month.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for attacking a gas and petroleum extraction site operated by the Pakistan Petroleum Limited in the Sheikhri area of Kalat.

The group carried out a similar attack on the same location on July 18. The group warned the oil and natural gas extraction companies to abandon their “exploitation” of the resources of Balochistan and back off, or they will face dire consequences.

In a separate attack, the Baloch Republican Guard (BRG), a “pro-independence” armed group, also claimed responsibility for attacking the pipeline supplying natural gas to the UCH power plant. The group said its fighters destroyed the pipeline using IEDs and also attacked the security checkpoints guarding the pipeline, causing material damage to the Pakistani forces.

It is pertinent to mention that attacks against the Pakistani forces in Balochistan have seen a rapid increase in Balochistan in August. According to a recent report by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, an Islamabad-based think tank, the Baloch armed groups targeted the Pakistani forces in 31 attacks, killing 37, including 18 soldiers, and wounding 55 others, including 9 soldiers.

And the attacks are showing no signs of slowing down. The Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) claimed responsibility for targeting the Pakistani forces in an IED in the Ogar area of Mashkay. BLF said that its fighters had targeted the forces in the evening, killing and wounding several soldiers and causing extensive material damage.

The Pakistani forces were also targeted in the Tigran area of Balochistan’s district Kech on Sunday. The death toll of the attack is yet to be determined. Responsibility of the attack was taken by BLA in a press release later on Sunday evening.


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