QUETTA, PAKISTAN - A separatist leader blamed for masterminding last month’s attack on a Chinese Consulate in Pakistan has been killed in a bombing in Afghanistan, Pakistani officials and the separatist group said Thursday.
Aslam Baloch, one of the leaders of the Baluch Liberation Army, and five of his associates were “martyred” in a blast, according to Jeeyand Baloch, a spokesman for the group. He did not provide further details. Pakistani security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Baloch was killed Tuesday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
Mohammad Yousof Younosi, a provincial council member from Kandahar, said six people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a house Tuesday in a wealthy subdivision of the city. He said the blast, which was a block away, blew out the windows of his home and several others in the neighborhood.
He said he knew one of the people killed, who hailed from Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, and had alerted authorities to their presence several weeks ago.
“Their language and clothing was different from ours. I knew they were not from Afghanistan and I worried about who they were,” said Younosi. Police arranged for them to relocate, but Younosi said they moved only one block away.
No one immediately claimed the attack. Several militant and separatist groups operate in Baluchistan.
Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of sheltering Baluch separatists, including those behind a deadly attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi last month. Afghanistan in turn accuses Pakistan of sheltering the Taliban and other Islamic extremists.
Three gunmen attacked the consulate in Karachi, triggering a shootout that left the assailants, two police officers and two civilians dead.