Pakistani troops forced to abandon border posts as protests erupt over shooting of girl, 4

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Thousands of Balochis descended on army positions in the town of Brabchah, hurling stones at army tanks and damaging security buildings. The violence comes as locals demand justice for a local girl named Bramsh who along with her mother was shot in Turbat city in southern Balochistan. The young girl was seriously injured when she took a bullet to the chest while her mother was violently killed.

The tragedy which occurred on May 26 is believed to have been a case of armed robbery.

While killings in the province are not uncommon, the incident sent shockwaves through the local population.

Incensed locals have said the bandits were backed by the Pakistani army.

Thursday’s protests saw civilians set fire to buildings used by troops at the border, reports The Balochistan Post.

Videos showed soldiers fleeing the angry crowds.

Gaurav Arya, a retired Indian Army General and an editor at Republic TV said the soldiers bolted because they feared for their lives.

He said: “Pakistani Army has abandoned its border posts in many places in Balochistan as a large number of Baloch gathered and started pelting stones and burning/smashing Pak Army structures.

“To save their own lives, Pak Army ran away.”

Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces.

It is rich in natural resources like natural gas, oil, coal, copper, sulphur, fluoride and gold.

But despite its enormous natural wealth, Balochistan is the least developed region in the Islamic-majority country.

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Locals have for years accused the Pakistani Government of exploiting their province for the benefit of other provinces.

The Army has come under fire from members of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) over the killing of Bramsh’s mother and the injury of her daughter.

The party claimed the incident was “a continuation of the massacre of Pakistan armed forces in Balochistan who have been engaged in kidnapping civilians for ransom and dumping mutilated bodies for the last several years”.

Balochis’ relationship with soldiers in the occupied province has been fraught for some time.

Previously, reports have emerged about political activists and outspoken students being detained by security forces and kept in confinement.

Others who dare to challenge the soldiers’ authority have been shot dead, local reports suggest.

Videos of the violent protests sparked a huge response from social media users.

The hashtags #FreeBalochistan and #BalochistanIsNotPakistan were used in numerous posts.

One supporter of the protesters tweeted: “Free Balochistan.

“Throw out the Pak occupation forces.

“We are with people of Balochistan.

“Free Balochistan is no longer a distant dream.”

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