Video footages and a confession of an arrested terrorist that surfaced on social media have raised questions on the affiliations of some ‘missing persons’ with the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) after five terrorists were killed during an operation by the security forces.
The five terrorists were affiliated with the banned outfit and a few of them were previously claimed to have been ‘missing persons’ from Balochistan.
Following the abduction of a civilian along with his cousin lieutenant colonel Laiq Baig Mirza, the security forces launched a recovery operation in Ziarat. Lt Col Mirza was martyred by the terrorists as they were fleeing from security forces.
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Subsequently, the five BLA members were killed during a heavy exchange of fire, including those who were claimed to have been missing.
A video footage, reportedly released by the BLA sometime back, appears to show the Baloch individuals who were said to be victims of enforced disappearance fighting against and killing the security personnel in the province.
Saleem Baloch, son of Karim Bakhsh, was one of the five slain Baloch men, who joined the BLA to target the security forces, while his family had declared him a missing person.
He is depicted to be carrying weapons and opening fire at the security personnel in a clip on social media.
The video also shows the grave of another terrorist covered by the BLA flag.
In another footage, a conversation between a man identified as Saleem Baloch is audible with an unknown person giving directions to his accomplices, including one “Bisham”, during an attack on security forces.
The unnamed individual asks Bisham to stop for half an hour, who had questioned whether he was being filmed. Meanwhile, the anonymous person also instructs the armed men to keep on firing and killing without marching forward.
Amid heavy firing, the unknown individual also questions the whereabouts of an accomplice “Kookal”, while asking another “Noor” to be careful and keep on firing.
Saleem Baloch, who was later killed in an operation, is also seen in different images holding the weapon snatched from the security personnel. Some other images also show the grave of another terrorist Shehzad Baloch covered by the BLA flag.
Farzana Shah, a senior journalist tweeted that terrorist Shehza, who was also killed in the Ziarat operation was inducted in the intelligence squad of BLA and claimed that he had been tracking the movement of lieutenant colonel Laiq for the last two months.
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In another video, Ghaus Bakhsh, who was arrested during an operation, narrates how he joined the BLA and was trained by Mullah Amin for nine months before being assigned to target an FC check post where 12 personnel along with three of his accomplices were killed.
It is pertinent to mention that lieutenant colonel Laiq of the Pakistan Army, who was abducted on the night between July 12 and 13 while returning from Quetta, was shot dead while two terrorists were also killed in a rescue operation.
According to the military’s media wing, on the night between July 12 and 13, a group of 10-12 terrorists abducted Lieutenant Colonel Laiq (serving in DHA Quetta) and his cousin Umer Javed while returning to Quetta near Warchoom, Ziarat, after having visited Quaid’s residency.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, “On receipt of information, Army Quick Reaction Forces were immediately despatched to chase fleeing terrorists who traced them moving to their hideouts in general area Mangi Dam. A deliberate search operation was launched by security forces using SSG troops and helicopters.”
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On July 17 the body of Col Laiq’s cousin Umar Javed was recovered from the mountains.