BRA kills five Punjabis in Noshaki, Mastung districts

BRA kills five Punjabis in Noshaki, Mastung districts

* BRA spokesman says murders carried out in reaction to alleged security forces’ attack on wedding ceremony

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: The Baloch Republican Army (BRA) admitted on Tuesday to having killed five Punjabis in Noshaki and Mastung districts, saying it was retaliation for the alleged firing by security forces on a wedding ceremony in Dera Bugti.

Unidentified people riding on a motorcyle opened indiscriminate fire on a welding shop owned by a Punjabi, Muhammad Asif, on Aminuddin Road in Noshaki district at around 7pm on Tuesday. As a result, four people, including the brother of the shop owner, Muhammad Farooq, were killed on the spot. An eyewitness, who was injured in the attack, said someone had knocked on the shop door by saying that he wanted to meet the owner of the shop. “When we opened the door, masked men opened indiscriminate fire and killed our colleagues,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Several people were injured in the attack. According to sources, the shop had been attacked many times in the past because of its Punjabi link. Previously, the house of the shop owner had been attacked with hand grenades.

Shortly after the incident, Noshaki District Nazim Mir Bahadur Khan Mengal, District Coordination Officer Hameedullah Shahwani and several police officials reached the site and condemned the killings. The local police said they were searching for the culprits and the dead bodies had been sent to their native towns for burial after the completion of necessary police and medical formalities.

In a separate incident, another man of Punjabi origin was killed at the Quetta Bus Stop in Mastung district on Tuesday. The murdered man was identified as Haji Muhammad Jamil.

Revenge: Sarbaz Baloch, a BRA spokesman, told Daily Times the murders had been carried out in reaction to a recent attack by security forces on a wedding ceremony of a local Baloch couple. He said the attack had resulted in the deaths of the bride and the bridegroom, in addition to nine other people. He charged that around 17 people had also been injured in the incident.

“We will carry out attacks on all Punjabis wherever they live in Balochistan. We do not tolerate Punjabis on our land. It is the Punjabi forces attacking our people,” he added.

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