‘Army raid’ in New Kahan

* 1,000 kg of explosives seized
* Anjuman Ittehad-e-Marri says raid carried out by Pakistan Army

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: Law enforcement agencies claimed late on Monday to have detained three suspected terrorists and recovered 1,000 kilogrammes of explosives in a raid on a Baloch settlement in the outskirts of the provincial capital.

According to government sources, a joint raid was conducted in New Kahan locality in Quetta, which is populated by the Marri Baloch tribesmen. During the raid, three suspected terrorists allegedly opened fire on the forces, which continued for an hour. The law enforcement agencies managed to overpower the three terrorists and took them into custody. The officials said they had also seized around 1,000 kg of explosives from a vehicle parked in the area.

Pakistan Army: An Anjuman Ittehad-e-Marri spokesman told Daily Times that the raid had been carried out by the Pakistan Army rather than the Frontier Corps, the Anti-Terrorist Force or the local police. “A contingent of 60 trucks and official vehicles came and began a door-to-door search operation,” said an eyewitness.

According to a Marri tribesman, the forces had arrested 25 people. Eight of them had been injured, he claimed. Those arrested also included eight girls, he said.

“Such raids are meant to defame the Baloch National Movement and paint it as a terrorist movement. The government functionaries themselves brought the explosives and showed to the world that they had been recovered from the possession of the Baloch tribesmen who do not even have access to clean drinking water and basic amenities of life,” said the spokesman. He said the raid would tremendously undermine the Pakistan People’s Party government’s credibility in the province.

The raid was strongly condemned by the Baloch Student Organisation (BSO). Activists from the BSO staged a protest in front of the University of Balochistan, saying a formal province-wide protest would be observed on Tuesday (today).

New Kahan is a settlement of the Marri tribesmen who had gone along with their tribal chief Nawab Khair Baksh Marri to Afghanistan in the 1980s. On their return from Afghanistan, they were provided shelter in New Kahan where they live amid scant civic amenities


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