QUETTA: A senior ‘commander’ and spokesman for a banned militant organisation and seven other militants have been killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Sibi district.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday evening, the Balochistan government’s spokesman, Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, said two security personnel were also killed in heavy fighting which continued for several hours in Sangan area of the district.
“I confirm the killing of a high-profile commander of the banned Baloch Liberation Army, Aslam Achou alias Merick Baloch, in the gunbattle.
“He was an Afghan Tajik and his body is now in the custody of security forces,” he said.
Heavy fighting continued for several hours in Sangan area, says Balochistan govt spokesman
He said that about seven more suspected militants were killed in the operation.
Mr Kakar claimed that Aslam alias Merick Baloch belonged to Afghanistan and he came to Balochistan in 1992, joined BLA and became its very important commander.
He worked in the mineral department as a clerk because he possessed a Pakistani National Identity Card.
His family was living in Afghanistan, he added.
“Aslam alias Merick Baloch was also in charge of several camps set up in the area by his organisation,” the spokesman said, adding that he had links with the Afghan intelligence agency.
He was involved in killing hundreds of people, including high-profile security and other officials.
The government had announced Rs600,000 as his head money.
Around two dozen FIRs had been registered against him in different police stations of Sibi and Bolan districts.
He was wanted in cases of kidnapping for ransom and receiving extortion from coalmine owners of Margat and other areas of Bolan district, Mr Kakar said.
In reply to a question, the spokesman said that personnel of FC and an intelligence agency conducted a search operation on information about the presence of suspected militants. A heavy gunbattle took place in Sangan area of Sibi district between security forces and armed militants.
Mr Kakar said bodies of the two soldiers were brought to Quetta. Their funeral payers were attended among others by Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz, GOC Maj Gen Abid and Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah.
Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2016