Balochistan Liberation Army

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Balochistan Liberation Army
Baloch Ajoee Lashkar
Participant in Balochistan conflict
Ideology Baloch nationalism.
Leaders Unknown
Strength Unknown

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) is a militant tribal organisation. At the moment, sovereignty over the region is split between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The indigenous population are known as the Baloch, who typically follow the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam and speak either Balochi or Brahui. The region also includes the Brahui population who are of the Dravidian origin but culturally similar to Baloch, they speak Brahui as well as Baloch language. The stated goals of the organization include driving the Pakistani and Iranian military personnel currently present in the territory out, and the establishment of a sovereign Baloch government. The name Baloch Liberation Army first became public in summer 2000, after the organization claimed credit for a series of bomb attacks. In 2006, the BLA was declared to be a terrorist organization by the Pakistani and British governments.[1]



[edit] Leadership

Baloch means the Baloch people, the languages of the Baloch and their culture. Some believe that 50% percent of fighters of the Baloch Liberation Army members belong from Marri tribe and the rest is other Balochs from all over Balochistan.

Regarding the leadership of the BLA, no one knows that who heads this clandestine network of Baloch guerillas. Some believe that Mir Balach Marri, son of Baloch tribal leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, was the head of the BLA but Balach denied this, stating he knew of the BLA but he is not their chief but supports them morally and physically. Balach Marri survived an attack by Pakistani special forces(SSG) on 26 August 2006, in which another well-known Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed. In addition to Balach Marri, the grandsons of Akbar Khan Bugti, Brahamdagh Khan Bugti and Mir Aley also survived. However, Balach Marri was killed in another attack on November 21, 2007.[2]

Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was buried at Dera Bugti in a private ceremony.[3]

Mir Balaach Marri, the perceived head of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), was killed on 20 November 2007[4], his killing triggered a wave of violence in Balochistan[5] and led to broad condemnation, Benazir Bhutto said the killing was “a bad omen for the integrity of the Federation”[6], whilst the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said "the incident was likely to increase the anger of the people of Balochistan against the Pakistan Government"[7] [8] [9]. The cause and location of his death are unknown. There are at least three locations quoted for the incident, ranging from Helmand province in Afghanistan (in a mistaken NATO airstrike), to the Pak-Afghan border in the Nushki area, to Kahan area in Kohlu district in the Marri tribal area, the latter two at the hands of the Pakistani security forces, his killing sparked a wave of violence in Quetta[10][11]. Although a BLA spokesman confirmed the killing of the BLA commander, he was reluctant to give out any further information as to location or how many of his comrades may have been killed with him, for fear, he said, of compromising the safety of other BLA fighters.[12]

[edit] Allegations of Terrorism

The Balochistan Liberation Army has been listed as an organisation that funds, and promotes terrorism. On 17 July 2006 the government of the United Kingdom listed the BLA as a terrorist outfit[13] and banned their members from the UK[14]. The group has also been listed a terror group by MIPT Terrorism Knowledge base, an organzation funded by the US Dept. for homeland Security [15]. Due to BLA's designation as a terrorist organization by the British Home Office[16], any member associated with the group is barred from entering the UK.

[edit] Actions by the Baloch Liberation Army

June, 2000: A number of bombs were detonated by BLA activists in the commercial district of Quetta, the provincial capital of Pakistani Balochistan, an area often frequented by the Pakistani military personnel. The explosions resulted in the deaths of 26 soldiers and 5 civilians, and the wounding of many others.[citation needed]

  • July, 2000: Fifteen 82-mm mortar shells were fired from the Koh-i-Murdar mountain range near Quetta, targeting the city's military garrison. No official casualty report was issued by the Pakistani military to the press in Balochistan. Pakistani army garrison at Quetta is blocked by checkpoints no civilian can enter it, it is a big area almost 10 Sq miles.
  • Numerous deaths of Pakistani soldiers have resulted from landmines planted by BLA.[17]
  • Date 18-8-06.Asaap[18] newspaper reported that on Thursday 17 August Pakistani army was conducting a search operation against BLA fighters 12 kilometres away from Karmo Wadh, near Sibi. At the time of operation Pakistani forces came under heavy barrage of rocket fire from Baloch fighters, in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed and seven became wounded. Names of the killed soldiers who died on the spot are NCO Amjad Ali, NCO Tasawer Hussen and NCO Matloob Hussen. Names of the critically wounded soldiers: Major Qaiser, Hawaldar Anser, Corporal Mudser Hussen, NCO Majid Hussen, NCO Ishfaq Ahmed, NCO Janzeb and NCO Ashraf, all the wounded were shifted to CMH (Combined Military Hospital) Hospital Sibi. In another such incident 40 kilometers away from Sangsila at Bambore-Top, Dera Bugti area. When Pakistani soldiers were digging trenches on Bambore-Top suddenly a landmine blasted with a big bang. In which Naib Subedar Kashmir Afridi and NCO Abdul Khaliq Afridi died on the spot, and five soldiers were critically wounded (names of the wounded were not confirmed).

Note: Bambore is a mountain located in the east of Sibi and north of Dera Bugti. Top is an English word used by Pakistani army.

  • News, 25,August,2006. Four tribal militants were killed on Friday as security forces used helicopter gunships to launch another operation in parts of Kohlu district. Two members of the security forces were also killed while an officer was injured. Reports reaching here from Kohlu said the security forces moved in to Karmo Wadh and Tartani areas near Kahan and used helicopter gunships to attack militants? hideouts. The operation was launched two days ago, they added.

Militants have also claimed inflicting big losses on the security forces. Azad Baloch, a spokesman for the banded Balochistan Liberation Army, told newsmen at the Quetta Press Club on telephone from an unknown place that armed militants were resisting the attacks. He claimed that over a dozen security personnel had been killed and many others injured in the area. He also claimed killing FC men in a landmine explosion in Kamo Wadh area. However, official sources did not confirm any casualties to the security forces. [19]

  • News, 29, May,2007. Dozens of blasts in Balochistan which disabled the railway links with the rest of the country were claimed by the BLA, [20].

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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