BLA attack on Pakistani outpost - Battle of Marwar

surya kiran

Regular Member
Jun 17, 2013
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A recent video release by the Pakistan separatist group Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) reportedly documents a deadly raid against a Pakistan Frontier Corps outpost in Marwaar, in the vicinity of the Bolan Pass in Baluchistan province on May 31, 2021.

The released footage is just under an hour long, and it is broken down into two parts. The second part picks up immediately following the end of part one, and we have published them in separate blogs under the same name.

Analysis: The footage itself is impressive in scale, as it was filmed from multiple angles, including some body-worn imagery. The Pakistani Frontier Corps troops, specifically of the Ghazaband Scouts, were the unit occupying/defending the base when the Baloch rebels attacked. It's unclear from the footage how long the attack lasted, but by the end of the video night has fallen. Also note that at no point does any Pakistan aircraft or artillery come to the aid of their besieged troops.

The BLA gets their observation points set up and then infiltrate the outer perimeter with only a few militants, at first, to avoid detection. They initiate their attack with a coordinated burst of automatic small arms fire on a group of exposed Pakistani troops. The surprised soldiers rapidly scramble to fighting positions and barracks areas to retrieve their weapons. The BLA continues suppressing the government fighters to allow more insurgents to move up to the perimeter.

At this point, extremely close-range exchanges of deadly fire erupt. Casualties are taken by both sides. BLA fighters marked with red stars, identified by their Alias, ultimately die in the battle and their moment of death is emphasized with forlorn music. Three BLA fighters were killed in the incident, and the BLA claims to have killed 24 Ghazaband Scouts, a number we haven't confirmed. The first BLA attacker to die is shot from just inches away, as both him and his foe are visible, firing at each other from opposite sides of the same wall.

An incredible moment is also filmed as a BLA fighter throws a grenade over the wall and a Pakistani soldier can be seen picking it up to throw it back, but it explodes in his hand, likely killing him instantly.

Another thing to take note of is the weapons used by the BLA. This video shows some use of American weapons, including the M16 and an M249 SAW. They also use several RPG warheads, while in previous releases, they tend to ration RPG expenditure. This diversity and increase in firepower is likely linked to the collapse of the Afghan National Army in neighboring Afghanistan, where local markets are flooded with cheap military weapons and equipment abandoned or captured from government units.

As the BLA encroach from multiple angles, the threat of fratricide is greatly increased. The radios are in a constant state of chatter, as team leaders on the ground try to coordinate maneuvers without killing each other. Eventually, all the Pakistan troops that were willing to defend the base are killed and the rest retreat to hardened buildings at the interior of the outpost and lock themselves in.

The BLA now assigns some of their fighters to looting duty in the already-cleared fortifications. They take high-value weapons and equipment and consolidate it at the edge of the perimeter while another group is tasked with taking the loot away and returning with resupplies. Based on the visible manpower, this appears to be one of the largest offensive operations ever executed by any of the Baluchistan separatist groups.

As the sun begins to fall, the last few surviving Ghazaband Scouts are holed up in a bunker with their backs to the wall and rifles out. The BLA recognizes the danger in this and unleashes their plethora of rocket propelled grenades into the fortifications, hammering them into submission. The raid ends with the BLA's calling card torching of the objective.

The video release is concluded with a tribute to the three fallen fighters and a displaying/questioning of a Pakistani soldier they captured in the battle.

The various Baluchistan insurgent groups are fighting for independence from Pakistan as they claim the Pakistan government offers their ethnic group no representation within the government, while extracting resources from their mineral-rich province and selling out their ancestral lands to Chinese investors.

Regardless of BLA's perceived virtue behind their struggle, and Pakistan's continued support of actual terrorism, in 2019 the US State Department designated the BLA as a Foreign Terror Organization while trying to improve relations with Pakistan and China.

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