Islamabad (AFP) – 06/02/2022. 05:12
Separatists launch rebellion in Balochistan, Pakistan army thwarts it
- The Pakistani army announced that its forces had ended two attacks launched by separatists in Balochistan province, which lasted for four days
- Separatists have waged an insurgency in the vast southwestern state for years, fueled by anger at the population’s extreme poverty.
- Baloch separatists often exaggerate their battlefield successes
The Pakistani army announced on Saturday that its forces had ended two attacks by separatists in the province Balochistan They lasted four days, estimating the final death toll at twenty militants and nine soldiers.
Separatists have waged an insurgency in the vast southwestern state for years, fueled by anger at the population’s extreme poverty despite reserves. Balochistan Abundant natural resources.
The fighting erupted while Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was on an official visit to China, which has invested heavily in Balochistan, heightening tensions.
Militants from the “Balochistan Liberation Army” launched two attacks late Wednesday on two army positions in Nawshki and Bangor districts of the province.
The military said the Naushki offensive was ended on Thursday, but the Bangor attack was repelled on Saturday.
The militants eventually fled the Bangor district, allowing the army to carry out what it called a “clearance operation” by pursuing them in its vicinity.
“All the trapped terrorists were killed in today’s operation because they refused to surrender,” the army added in a statement.
For its part, the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed in a statement broadcast via the Telegram application that it had killed 80 soldiers and had successfully achieved its goals.
Baloch separatists often exaggerate their battlefield successes, and the Pakistan Army’s Public Relations Department underestimates or delays reporting losses.
And Chinese investments in Balochistan are part of the Belt and Road Initiative implemented by Beijing.
The “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project, linking the westernmost region of Xinjiang with the strategic Gwadar port in Balochistan, has been criticized for not benefiting the local population from the massive influx of investments.
Although the economic corridor provides a lucrative gateway for China to the Indian Ocean, the safety of workers on the project has long been a concern.
Islamabad and Beijing have built strong ties in recent years.
A security official considered the two attacks an attempt to obstruct Khan’s visit to China.