November 21, 2007
QUETTA-Nawabzada Balach Marri, the Baloch guerilla commander was killed along with some of his colleagues in a military assault in an undisclosed location, claimed the banned Baloch Liberation Army here on Wednesday.
His brother Nawabzada Gazain Marri who is under ground also confirmed the killing of his brother while talking to a group of newsmen on Wednesday night. Balach Marri, 44, has been commanding his resistance tribesmen in Kohlu for the last few years. He went to Afghanistan after the military drive in Tratani mountains of Kohlu district in which Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was killed on August 26, 2006. Beeberg Baloch, the spokesman of the banned BLA first informed the newsmen through satellite phone from an unknown location in Quetta Press Club about the killing of Balach Marri in drive by security forces.
He said that he was unable to disclose the location of this attack and the exact number of his colleagues who died or were injured in the action. Nawabzada Gazain Marri, the former Provincial Minister and elder brother of Balach told a group of journalists that he also received the news of the killing of his brother and some of his fighters, but he was not informed about the location for security reasons.
A report claimed that Balach Marri was killed in Sarlath area, the no man’s land at Pak-Afghan border near Naushki district in an attack by Pakistani security forces.
However, another report claimed that Balach was travelling in a convoy of vehicles in Afghan province of Helmund which came under air attack of NATO forces suspecting his convoy of Taliban. But both reports could not be confirmed either on govt level or by his family members.
Balach Marri got elected as member of the Provincial Assembly while contesting from his home town Kohlu in absentia in 2002 elections.Due to murder cases alongwith his brothers, he obtained interim bail from Sindh High Court to take oath as MPA. He attended just two sessions before going underground after his interim bail was not confirmed by the court.He remained in Kohlu commanding the tribesmen and had frequently been travelling to Dera Bugti alongwith his hundreds of armed guards.He alongwith his companions shifted to mountains after military drive started in Dera Bugti and Kohlu in the wake of rocket attacks on President General Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Kohlu on December, 12, 2005. Later he and Nawabzada Brahamdgah Bugti, the grand son of Nawab Bugti shifted to neighbouring Afghanistan in the wake of killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.Nawabzada Balach Marri, the son of Baloch Marxist leader Nawab Khair Baksh Marri was the third among six brothers.
He was born in Quetta and got his schooling from St Francis school. He later went to Kabul alongwith his family in 1980s and then Moscow to get his Masters degree in Electronic Engineering.
Meanwhile, four persons including an Inspector of Intelligence Bureau and a police constable were killed while scores were injured in day-long rioting and violence in the provincial capital and other towns of Balochistan.
Police rounded up 30 persons in the provincial capital while incidents of firing, hand grenade attack, damage to private and public property and attacks were reported on various installations through out the province.
The City Nazim announced to close all schools, colleges and other educational institutions in Quetta on Thursday in the wake of tension prevailing in the province. The news of killing of Baloch guerilla commander Nawabzada Balach Marri in a military drive spread like jungle fire in the whole province.
The Baloch youth took to the streets and started throwing stones on the vehicles and damaging public property. Some of them opened fire in the air to create terror in the provincial capital.
A group of three people belonging to Punjabi speaking community was attacked by an armed group in Kalat street Hudda, injuring them seriously. They were rushed to hospital but all succumbed to their injuries. The names of the deceased are Liaquat Ali, an IB inspector, Munir Raza, a bank employee and Ishaq Awan, the owner of a bakery.
In another incident, a group of armed persons opened fire on a police mobile vehicle near Brewry police station, injuring five cops including two officers. Later one of the cop succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The SHO Khalid Yousaf and ASI Nasir Ahmad of Brewry police station also were among the injured.Meanwhile, unknown motorcyclists threw a hand-grenade at a barber shop on Moti Ram Road that exploded with a heavy bang. However, nobody was injured in the attack as when the grenade was lobbed in the shop, the owner and workers jumped out of the shop.
The central office of Balochistan-Punjabi Etahad was also set ablaze by unknown persons that reduced all the office furniture and record to ashes. The enraged crowd in the evening damaged two vehicles and put an ambulance of Bolan Medical Complex on fire on main Brewry road.
The protesters in Sariab, Killi Qambarani and Subzal also damaged 4 vehicles and rickshaws by throwing stones. At a number of places in the provincial capital there was hide and seek between police and protesters. Police fired dozens of tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.Unknown persons also ransacked govt education office and damaged the vehicle parked there.
Two police constables received injuries in a bomb blast near WAPDA grid station on main Sariab road. The condition of both injured was out of danger. The reports from the interior of the province say that four bomb explosions took place in the town of Mastung creating terror.
The telephone system was damaged in the blast. However, nobody was injured in the blasts. Explosions also took place in Wadh and Machh towns, but caused no damage. Unknown persons also threw a hand grenade in the house of a govt employee Mohammad Suleman, a Punjabi speaking person in Machh town that landed in the courtyard of the house, but all the occupants of the house remained unhurt. The protesters attacked a bank in Khuzdar town and broke its window panes and also damaged a govt vehicle.
In Naushki, the people barged into a local office and burnt and ransacked it. Two persons were injured in a blast in Naushki. The reports of damaging the govt properties in Turbat and Panjgur were also received.
The local tribesmen blew up a rail track in Bolan area and two power pylons in Dera Bugti causing suspension of rail service and power supply. The people closed their shops in a number of towns and burnt tyres by closing the roads and highways.
This story is especially intriguing because of the dispute over whether Marri was killed in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Pakistan has long insisted that the Baloch separatists are affiliated with the Taliban in Afghanistan (which also has a sizable Baloch population), and therefore they must be crushed. However, because the Baloch populations stretch from Pakistan all the way into southern Iran, and because they happen to be flush with natural gas and minerals, the US has long taken an interest in the BLA. In fact, it’s been widely rumored that the CIA, and possibly Mossad, have been actively aiding Baloch terrorist cells in southern Afghanistan and Iran. Of course Pakistani Intelligence insists that Marri was killed in Afghanistan, implying that he was there fighting for the Taliban.
Is it possible that, to facilitate and expedite Pakistani General Musharraf’s internal crackdown on opposition, the US gave the Pakistani military actionable intelligence against Marri, who may or may not have been our ally against both Iran and the Taliban? If so, it shows some lack of resolve on the part of the US Administration, given that the strategic value of an independent and capital rich Balochistan far outweighs the short term tactical benefits of an appeased Pakistani dictator. There is much to the story of Balochistan that remains to be told.
Source: Is the US trading allies for security in Pakistan?
"State authorities(Pak) confirmed the news when contacted as saying that he was killed in vicinity of Afghanistan during operation of US allied forces. "
Top Baloch rebel leader 'killed'
By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad
It is not clear where or how Mir Balaach Marri died
A top rebel leader from Pakistan's troubled province of Balochistan has been killed, his family says.
Mir Balaach Marri, alleged head of the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), was killed in Afghanistan, Pakistani intelligence sources told the BBC.
The BLA and rebel tribesmen have been fighting Pakistani security forces for more provincial autonomy since 2000.
Nationalists say the mineral-rich province has been deprived of its rightful share of its own resources.
Mr Balaach's brother, Sardar Gazain Marri, said he had learnt of the rebel leader's death on Tuesday evening.
"Some of his comrades informed me he had been martyred," he told the BBC.
"I cannot disclose the location as it would further threaten the lives of those with him."
Sardar Marri says he believes his brother was killed in an army operation in Balochistan.
"I believe there were a clashes in the province on Tuesday in which Mir Balaach was killed."
However, intelligence officials in Pakistan told the BBC the rebel leader had been killed in Afghanistan.
They also declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding his killing.
Analysts say the killing could have been the result of a covert operation.
War and escape
Mir Balaach Khan Marri is said to have been the military mastermind behind the Baloch rebels.
Observers say the uprising could now be in trouble with the rebels' operational leader dead
The second son of one of Balochistan's premier tribal chiefs, Sardar Khair Bux Marri, Mir Balach Marri was a committed nationalist.
He resigned from the provincial parliament in 2003, complaining that Balochistan was still being deprived of its rights.
The province is Pakistan's largest, and its richest in natural resources. It has some of the biggest proven reserves of natural gas in the world.
There are also large deposits of gold, copper and other minerals.
The rebels say most of these resources are appropriated by the federal government, while locals are denied employment in regional projects.
All development indexes show Balochistan as the least developed of Pakistan's four provinces.
Nawab Bugti was killed last year
In 2000, the nationalists launched armed attacks to press for greater provincial autonomy. Pakistan's army replied with a massive military operation in the province four years later.
Over the next two years, hundreds of people were killed in clashes between the rebels and security forces.
Hundreds of thousands fled the area as fighting worsened.
The insurgency came to a climax in August 2006 when army troops surrounded several Baloch rebel leaders.
This included Mir Balaach Marri and veteran politician and former provincial governor Sardar Akbar Khan Bugti.
While Mr Balaach managed to escape along with several of his comrades, Nawab Bugti was killed. The clash also claimed the lives of dozens of army officers.
After that most rebels leaders are thought to have gone into exile in neighbouring Afghanistan.
But they continued to conduct raids into the region. In recent days, these had increased.
But observers say the uprising could now be in trouble with the rebels' operational leader dead.
Mir Balach Marri is son of prominent politician Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri was killed by Pakistani forces , BBC urdu service has reported . Gazain Marri brother of Balach Marri confirmed this news when called on his mobile . Though he could not tell this author exact location and details when contacted over his mobile phone in UAE . He said "I received a call from his close comrade last night at around 1:10 am , he said just one line " Balach has left us " . Then I understood what happened . They did not gave any information after that because of security reasons “ . When questioned about the details of incident he said "his comrades did not gave any details” .
Imdad Baloch , BSO leader - talking to over phone from Balochistan said the location of the encounter is Muski , however Gazain Marri said there are conflicting reports about exact location , "I do not want to speculate about this as I heard 3 differnt places " . Stating that he is in touch with his brother in London Mr.Mehran Baloch , family is grieving . “He made us proud and gave his life for the baloch cause “ said Gazain Marri . Currently body of Balach Marri is in possession of baloch fighters , said Gazain Marri .
Balach Marri told Al Aljazeera said: "In my opinion, the situation for the struggle of an independent Baluchistan is going ahead very well.People are depending upon their own strength and vision for an independent state."
ANI is confirming this news
Islamabad, Nov.21 (ANI): Pakistani security forces today notched up a major success against the Baloch nationalists when they shot and killed senior Baloch leader Balash Khan Marri.
According to official sources, Marri was supposedly a major moving force behind the Baloch Liberation Army, and was held responsible for a number of attacks on Sui Gas pipelines.
He was wanted by the Pakistani forces for a while now, and had been waging a war against the state in Balochistan, and more so after the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in August last year. (ANI)
Posted by Naxal Watch at 2:17 PM