Baluch insurgents abduct, kill Pakistani officer: Officials

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The body of a Pakistani army officer, abducted earlier this week by insurgents disguised as security forces, was found Thursday on a remote highway in the restive southwestern Baluchistan province, officials said.

The outlawed Baluchistan Liberation Army, which was designated a terrorist group by the United States in 2019, claimed responsibility for the killing of Col. Laeeq Mirza.

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Mirza was traveling with his family from the town of Ziarat, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, when the assailants seized them on Tuesday. The family was headed to a tourist resort in the area.

The attackers later that night freed the other family members who raised the alarm about the abduction, but kept the officer.

The chief minister in Baluchistan province, Mir Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo, said security forces have launched an operation to find those behind the killing.

“We will do our best to trace, arrest and punish those who martyred our army officer,” he said.

For years, Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and other separatist groups demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. Although the government says it has quelled the insurgency, violence in the province has persisted.

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