QUETTA: About 20 hours after launching a massive military operation, Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) said it was in “control” of Mach city and adjoining areas of Bolan district in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan after killing at least 55 Pakistani soldiers.
“As part of operation Dara-e-Bolan, the Baloch freedom fighters have a strong control over Mach city and adjoining highways since last 20 hours,” BLA spokesman Jeeyand Baloch said in a statement.
He said BLA fighters have established strong positions across Mach city.
Earlier in the day, he said the freedom fighters of the outfit were controlling all entry and exit routes of Mach and have planted landmines on all routes, depriving any reinforcement for the Pakistani forces.
The latest update from BLA stated that the Mach city remained under control of Baloch Liberation Army for more than 24 hours now, where as Pakistani military has been cornered into a small area of FC headquarters.
The BLA spokesperson said that the Pakistani military is making false claims that it has repulsed BLA attack and Mach has been cleared. In reality, the Baloch freedom fighters are patrolling the streets of Mach city with full public support. The BLA invited international media, including the Pakistani media, to visit Mach city to see the facts themselves, guaranteeing full protection to any media outlet that plans to visit Mach city.
BLA launched the Operation at around 9 PM (Pakistan time) on 29th January, with the freedom fighters targeting the Army Base Camp, the main police station, the headquarters of paramilitary Frontier Corps and the Railway Station and some other key locations of Mach city in a coordinated manner.
“BLA’s Special Tactical Operations Squad has taken control of all entry and exit routes in the area. The STOS has installed explosive mines on these routes, depriving the enemy forces any reinforcement,” the spokesman said last afternoon.
“We openly challenge Pakistani military, the killer of innocents, to come and face Baloch freedom fighters who are freely roaming the streets of Mach city,” the spokesman further said.
On the other hand, Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai claimed that the separatists had been repelled after firing rockets from three directions, while the Pakistan Army media wing ISPR also refuted the claims made by BLA. South Asia Press could not verify any of the claims.
Pakistani forces were in pursuit of the separatists “on the retreat and search operation was underway” to locate the hidden separatists – according to Mr. Achakzai. He further revealed that the Baloch separatists attempted to attack from three directions in the mountains.
Earlier, Balochistan’s caretaker Information Minister also took to Twitter to address the situation, stating that reports indicated rockets had been fired in the Machh hill area. However, he assured the public that no damage had been reported thus far, emphasizing that law enforcement agencies were on high alert to address the situation and maintain security in the region.