BALOCHISTAN: A complete shutter-down strike was observed in parts of Balochistan on Tuesday in response to a strike called by the Baloch National Front (BNF) protesting the military operation in Kalat district.
A BNF spokesperson said that security forces had launched the operation against locals after suffering a defeat ‘at the hands of the BLA in Kalat and Naushki districts’. Business and trade activities in Kech, Gwadar, Kharan, Kalat, Panjgur, Awaran, Khuzdar and Naushki districts came to a standstill as all shops, markets and restaurants remained closed for the day.
BLA spokesperson Mirak Baloch said his armed men brought down a gunship helicopter in Kalat and killed several security forces personnel in response to the operation. “After facing tough resistance, the security forces carried out shelling on the local population and targeted innocent Baloch people,” Mirak said. He claimed that none of the BLA’s members were killed in the operation. A BRA spokesperson also issued a similar statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2014.