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Balochistan Republican Army

Formed2006
DisbandedGroup is active.
First AttackOctober 20, 2007: The BRA claimed responsibility for a bomb that targeted a bus in Dera Bugti, Balochistan. (8 killed, 28 wounded) [1]
Last AttackApril 15, 2015: The BRA attacked a Pakistani security forces convoy in Kech, Balochistan. (8 killed, unknown wounded) [2]
UpdatedAugust 11, 2015

Narrative Summary

The Balochistan Republican Army (BRA), not to be confused with the Balochistan Republican Army – Azad, is an ethno-nationalist separatist militant organization fighting against the Pakistani government for an independent Balochi state. [3] [4] Most members of the BRA are members of the Bugti tribe and young student political activists in Balochistan. [5] [6] The group was founded in 2006, in response to a growing resentment in Balochistan over what they felt was was increasing Pakistani central government control and monopolization of Balochi resources. The organization is against any foreign investment and any future foreign intervention in Balochistan. The BRA has targeted Pakistani security forces and manufacturing infrastructure to try and “take back” its province’s resources for the people of Balochistan. [7] [8][9] The BRA has also targeted public transportation and threatened to continue to attack civilians if the Pakistani government does not withdraw troops form the region. [10]

The BRA does not identify its leaders; however, the Pakistani government has alleged that Brahamdagh Bugti has led the group since it was founded.  Bugti is also the leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, which is a nationalist political party with strong ties to the BRA and other Balochi militant groups. [11]

Leadership

  1. Brahamdagh Bugti (2006 to Unknown): The Pakistani government alleges that after the death of his grandfather, Akbar Bugti, Bugti became the leader of the Balochistan Republican Party and subsequently the BRA. [12]

Ideology & Goals

The Balochistan Liberation Front is an ethno-nationalist separatist organization with the goal of creating an independent Balochi state. [13] 

Size Estimates

There are no stated size estimates of the Balochistan Republican Army.

Resources

It is believed that the BRA benefits from leftover weapons from prior conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. [14] Due to high community support for autonomy and independence from the people of Balochistan, many analysts suspect that a large amount of the BRA’s income and weapons supply come from donations from the Balochi people. [15] Balochi leaders have also claimed that financial contributions from the Balochi diaspora make it possible to procure arms and ammunition through the black market. [16]

Experts have also speculated that since Balochistan is a key smuggling route for many products, with a very large portion of the world’s opium passing through its borders, smuggling could also be a large source of income for the BRA. [17]

External Influences

Pakistani politicians have claimed that U.S. and British intelligence agencies are supporting the Balochi rebellion in order to sabotage a proposed oil pipeline that could undermine U.S. control of Gulf oil; however, these claims are unverified. [18]

Geographical Locations

The BRA is headquartered in Balochistan, Pakistan. Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province, sharing a border with Iran and Afghanistan to the west, the Arabian Sea to the south and the Sindh and Punjab provinces to the east. 

The majority of the BRA’s attacks have been in the province of Balochistan, but the BRA has carried out attacks in the Sindh and Punjab provinces. [19]

Targets & Tactics

The BRA uses mortar strikes, car bombs, IEDs, landmines, grenades, small-arms attacks, conventional warfare, unconventional warfare, social media, and nationalist propaganda to achieve its goal of creating an independent Balochi state. [20][21][22]

The group targets Pakistani security forces, Pakistani police, public buses, railways, communication systems, gas pipelines, electricity pylons, check-posts, and civilian offices. [23] [24] [25]

Political Activities

While the BRA has no formal political organization, analysts speculate that the nationalist Balochistan Republican Party works with the BRA. [26] The BRA also garners sympathy, and at times open support, from other Balochi political parties including the National Party and the Balochistan Student Organization. [27]  

 

Major Attacks

  1. October 20, 2007: The BRA planted a vehicle born IED on a public transportation bus in Dera Bugti, Balochistan. (8 killed, 28 wounded).[28]
  2. January 9, 2009: A landmine planted by the BRA in Dera Bugti, was meant to target Pakistani government personal, but killed a Balochi tribal chief and other nearby civilians. (4 killed, 10 wounded).[29]
  3. April 21, 2011: Eight BRA members fired on a military-run Frontier Works Organization camp. (11 killed, 2 wounded).[30]
  4. May 14, 2012: The BRA claimed responsibility for two car bombs that went off near Pakistani security forces’ vehicles in Quetta, Balochistan. (6 killed, 58 wounded).[31]
  5. October 21, 2013: A BRA planted bomb exploded on a railroad derailing a Jaffar Express train in Nasirabad district, Balochistan. (6 killed, 18 wounded).[32]
  6. February 16, 2014: A BRA planted bomb went off on train tracks in Thul town, Sindh province. (5 killed, 30 wounded).[33]
  7. December 27, 2014: The BRA claimed responsibility for an attack against a Frontier Crops convoy. (9 killed, 18 wounded).[34]
  8. April 23, 2015: The BRA attacked a Pakistani security forces convoy in Kech, Balochistan. (8 killed, unknown wounded).[35]

Relationships with Other Groups

The BRA is one of multiple insurgent groups fighting for increased sovereignty for the Balochistan province. In addition to the BRA, the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Lashkar-e-Balochistan (LeB), and the Jhalawan Baloch Tiger are also active in the region. The BLA and BLF are the strongest and most influential militant groups of Balochistan. [36] There has been no confirmed coordination between the BRA and other Balochi and non-Balochi groups, and some groups’ leaders have claimed that the different militant organizations have almost identical goals, but still operate independently of one another. [37] Of the militant organizations, the BRA is the most violent organization and the organization has publically critiqued the BLF and BLA for being too passive in their operations.

Community Relationships

There is significant support in Balochistan for an independent Balochi state. [38] As a result, the Balochi people support many of the ethnonationalist groups in Balochistan. While the majority of people distance themselves publically from the BRA, sympathizers and supporters can be found throughout the community and Balochistan Republican Party. [39] Although some in the community find the BRA’s tactics distasteful, others feel that the BRA and organizations like it are fighting for its cause. [40]


References

  1. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 200710200005. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 27 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland." Baloch Republican Army. BRA. Web. 9 July 2015.
  3. ^ Gates, Scott, and Kaushik Roy. "Balochistan.Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency. 2011. 199. Print.
  4. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015.
  5. ^ “Situationer: Who's Who of Baloch Insurgency.- Pakistan. 1 June 2015. Web. 30 July 2015.
  6. ^ "SEARCH RESULTS: 141966 INCIDENTS.GTD Search Results. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 23 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Baloch Republican Army (BRA).Baloch Republican Army (BRA). TRAC. Web. 29 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "SEARCH RESULTS: 141966 INCIDENTS.GTD Search Results. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 23 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015. 
  11. ^ “Situationer: Who's Who of Baloch Insurgency.- Pakistan. 1 June 2015. Web. 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ “Situationer: Who's Who of Baloch Insurgency." - Pakistan. 1 June 2015. Web. 30 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Balochistan Liberation Army.The National Baloch Media RSS. Web. 2 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Balochistan Liberation Army.The National Baloch Media RSS. Web. 2 July 2015.
  16. ^ Adeel Khan, “Renewed Ethnonationalist Insurgency in Balochistan, Pakistan: The Militarized State and Continuing Economic Depravation,” Asian Survey 49 (2009):1078
  17. ^ Grare, Frederic “The Resurgence of Baluch Nationalism,” working paper in, “Pakistan: The State of the Union,” Center for International Policy, April 2009, 52.
  18. ^ “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” International Crisis Group, 14 September 2006.
  19. ^ "SEARCH RESULTS: 141966 INCIDENTS." GTD Search Results. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 23 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Baloch Republican Army (BRA).Baloch Republican Army (BRA). TRAC. Web. 29 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "SEARCH RESULTS: 141966 INCIDENTS.GTD Search Results. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 23 July 2015
  23. ^ "Baloch Republican Army (BRA).Baloch Republican Army (BRA). TRAC. Web. 29 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland.Baloch Republican Army. Web. 11 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "SEARCH RESULTS: 141966 INCIDENTS.GTD Search Results. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 23 July 2015.
  26. ^ “Situationer: Who's Who of Baloch Insurgency.- Pakistan. 1 June 2015. Web. 30 July 2015.
  27. ^ “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” International Crisis Group, 14 September 2006.
  28. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 200710200005. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 27 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 200901090008. Global Terrorism Database.Web. 25 July 2015.
  30. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 201103210008. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 18 July 2015.
  31. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 201205140002. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 28 July 2015.
  32. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 201310210001. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 15 July 2015.
  33. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 201402160001. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 29 July 2015.
  34. ^ "Incident Summary:." Incident Summary for GTDID: 201412290006. Global Terrorism Database. Web. 28 July 2015.
  35. ^ "Baloch Republican ArmyThe Defenders of Motherland." Baloch Republican Army. BRA. Web. 9 July 2015.
  36. ^ Gates, Scott, and Kaushik Roy. "Balochistan.Unconventional Warfare in South Asia: Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency. 2011. 199. Print.
  37. ^ “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” International Crisis Group, 14 September 2006.
  38. ^ "Balochistan Liberation Army.The National Baloch Media RSS. Web. 2 July 2015.
  39. ^ “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” International Crisis Group, 14 September 2006.
  40. ^ “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” International Crisis Group, 14 September 2006.

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