Over 50 Civilians Killed in Hunt for Guerrilla Leader
Christmas Eve, nearing midnight, over a dozen helicopter gunships swoop low overhead, attacking the Balochistan village of Mehi. 100 homes were destroyed that evening. The helicopters belonged to the Frontier Corps (FC), the government’s paramilitary, and the attack was the beginning of a multi-day bloodbath across three districts, killing over 50 people and displacing hundreds of others.
The whole offensive spanned several days, saw large numbers of civilians tortured in “interrogation centers” and some villages virtually destroyed, all as part of a push by the FC to locate Dr. Allah Nazar, who was rumored to be in the area.
Asian Human Rights Commission probed the incident, noting that the operation is still underway and that some villages remain under a state of virtual siege, with reports that FC forces had looted shops and hundreds of civilians remain in custody for “questioning.”
Dr. Nazar is the head of the Baloch Students Organization, a banned secessionist movement, and is accused of being a leader in the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), an armed faction that often attacks non-Baloch targets in Balochistan.
He was not in his home when it was attacked, but his mother and his two sons were reportedly wounded in the offensive.
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