Balochistan Separatists Bomb Train in Northwest Pakistan

BLA: Attack Targeted Military Personnel Who Travel by Train

by Jason Ditz, October 07, 2016

A pair of bombs planted along the tracks today badly damaged the Jaffar Express in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province, killing at least six people and wounding 19 others. The train, which was southeast of Quetta at the time, was traveling toward Rawalpindi.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a Balochistan separatist group, claimed credit for the attacks, saying they were targeting military personnel they believed to be traveling to Rawalpindi by the train. There was no word if any of the casualties were military, but Rawalpindi is often described as Pakistan’s “military capital,” so there likely were personnel on board.

The BLA is one of several separatist organizations in the Balochistan Province, which is Pakistan’s largest and indeed spans the country’s entire western third. The Pakistani government has long believed the BLA to be a “proxy” of India, which is likely to add some international intrigue to this story.

Terror attacks around Balochistan are relatively common with so many different factions vying to be the main voice of Balochistan’s separatist ambitions, Pakistan has repeatedly tried to increase security throughout the region to limit such attacks, but with minimal success.

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