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Militants Kill 15 Para Troopers in Southwest Pakistan
Militants killed 15 paramilitary troopers and injured 12 more in an attack on four security posts in the restive Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan, officials said today.

The militants attacked the security check posts at Margat, a coal-rich area near Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, last night.

The rebels used light and heavy weapons during the attack, which continued for five hours, officials of the Frontier Corps said.

The militants also targeted additional forces sent to the area with a remote-controlled explosive device.

A total of 15 security personnel were killed and a dozen more injured in the fighting, the officials said.

A spokesman for the Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack in phone calls to journalists in Quetta.

The Frontier Corps had set up eight check posts to protect coal mines in Margat after armed militants kidnapped four workers of the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation last year.

Reports from Quetta said security forces used a helicopter to airlift bodies and seriously injured troopers from the site of the attack.

Additional security forces were sent to the area for a search operation but no one was arrested.

Baloch insurgent groups have been waging a violent campaign for greater autonomy and a say in the exploitation of the province's abundant natural resources.

The insurgents have stepped up attacks on security forces in Balochistan in recent weeks.

At least 14 Frontier Corps personnel, including two junior commissioned officers, were killed and nine more injured in an armed attack by Baloch militants close to the Iranian border in Turbat district last month.
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1/D-63
Feb 02, 2012
12:37 PM

India better do its work in helping the Balochs to get their autonomy or outright independence (the latter will require the big sugar daddy US's blessing) and thus get a foothold in Pakistan's backyard, before Afghanistan again slips back into Pakistan's fold after the US/Nato 2013 withdrawl.

Remember that Pakistan's geographical pre-eminence rises from the fact that there is no other easy access from anywhere between Iran and Pakistan, to the warm waters of Arabian Sea.  Pakistan has milked its this strategic location to the utmost, by shutting off any access for anyone from Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics, to the south sea. This geographical monopoly will be shattered once for all, if Balochistan becomes a nation of its own and channels its new found location to the economic benefit of itself and for all. I cannot believe that the US and the western powers have not thought about this, particularly as a bulwark against the mullahs in Iran and the bearded military radicals in the Pakistan army.

Pakistan will be insufferable if it gains Afghanistan and also crushes the Baloch rebellion. If Pakistan has to be kept off-balance, then "the bleeding of it by a thousand cuts" has to be nurtured by keeping the Baloch's hopes for a home of their own alive.

Non Fanatic, London
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