Balochistan Liberation Army

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Balochistan Liberation Army
Participant in Balochistan conflict
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army.svg
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army
Ideology Baloch nationalism
Leaders

Hyrbyair Marri[1]

Khair Bakhsh Marri[2]
Area of
operations
Balochistan, Pakistan
Afghanistan[3]
Strength 500[3]
Allies Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Republican Army, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, Balochistan Liberation United Front, BSO (Azad)
Opponents  Pakistan
 Iran
Battles
and wars
Balochistan Conflict

The Balochistan Liberation Army (also Baloch Liberation Army, Balochistan Liberation Army or BLA) is a separatist[4] militant group based in Balochistan, a mountainous region of western Pakistan. The Baloch Liberation Army became publicly known during the summer of 2000, after it claimed credit for a series of bombing attacks on Pakistani authorities.[5][6]

The group is currently headed by Hyrbyair Marri and has an estimated strength of 500 militants.[3]

Designation as a terrorist organisation[edit]

Balochistan Liberation Army was declared a terrorist organisation in Pakistan in April 2006, after a series of attacks conducted by the group targeting security personnel, civilians and journalists.[3] On 17 July 2006, the government of the United Kingdom listed the BLA as a "proscribed group" based on the Terrorism Act 2000.[7] The group's actions have been described as terrorism by the United States Department of State;[8] however, BLA itself has not been declared as a terrorist organization either by US or EU.[9] Pakistani authorities allege that the BLA is funded by the government of India.[10]

Claimed attacks[edit]

Quaid-e-Azam Residency[edit]

The Quaid-e-Azam Residency, a historical residence in Balochistan where Muhammad Ali Jinnah spent the last days of his life, was attacked by rockets on 15 June 2013. The building was nearly demolished as a result of the attack. Militants belonging to the Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility. The militants also removed the flag of Pakistan from the monument site, replacing it with a BLA flag.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri | Baloch Leader @ Pakistan Herald". Pakistanherald.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  2. ^ Cyril Almeida (2010-07-25). "All Baloch shouldn't be tarred with same brush". Archives.dawn.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Balochistan Liberation Army". Violent Extremism Knowledge Base. Institute for the Study of Violent Groups. 
  4. ^ "Rockets hit south-west Pakistan". BBC. 14 December 2005. 
  5. ^ Butt, Qaiser (1947-08-14). "Heritage under attack: PkMAP says it views Ziarat Residency as a ‘symbol of slavery’ – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  6. ^ a b Reuters. "BLA claims attack on Jinnah residency in Ziarat – The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  7. ^ Richard Ford (18 July 2006). "Militant Islamist groups banned under terror law". The Times. 
  8. ^ "Chapter 2 -- Country Reports: South and Central Asia Overview". Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. 
  9. ^ "Terrorist Organization Profile - START - National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism". Start.umd.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  10. ^ "India backing Balochistan Liberation Army: Rehman Malik". Asian Tribune. 2009-04-23. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2013-06-15.