A day after the media wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces claimed that the Pakistan Army helicopter that went missing on August 1, crashed in an ‘accident‘, the Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) an umbrella organization of Baloch armed rebel groups took responsibility for the same.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the rebel group claimed responsibility for targeting and downing the low-flying Pakistan military helicopter in the mountainous areas of Windar and Noorani in Balochistan.
Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) accepts responsibility for targeting Pakistani helicopter and killing six senior military officials of the enemy forces— Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar | BRAS (@Bras_Media03) August 2, 2022
– Spokesperson, Baloch Khanhttps://t.co/QjCxfQEpKR pic.twitter.com/mZzbyh7ep4
According to reports, the wreckage of the Pakistan Army helicopter carrying senior military officers that had gone missing on August 1 was found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela on Tuesday, August 2. Six individuals who were on board including Commander 12 Corps were found dead.
On Tuesday, Director-General (DG) ISPR Tweeted that the initial probe revealed that the accident had occurred due to bad weather. “The wreckage of an unfortunate helicopter which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 officers and soldiers including l Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat. …Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations,” Director-General (DG) ISPR said in a tweet.
The wreckage of unfortunate hel which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 offrs & sldrs incl Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat. اِنّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 2, 2022
Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations . DTF pic.twitter.com/dnyano2vqC
The Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) spokesperson Baloch Khan, however, said in a statement on Wednesday, “Freedom fighters of BRAS targeted a low flying helicopter of Pakistan military. The targeted helicopter crashed near Moosa Goth in Dareji.”
“In the attack, carried out with anti-aircraft guns, the helicopter was badly damaged and later completely destroyed. All six enemy personnel on board the flight were killed in the attack. They included Core Commander 12 Core Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, Director General Coast Guard Major General Amjad, Brigadier Khalid, pilot Major Saeed, co-pilot Talha and crew chief Naik Muddasir”, the statement by BRAS added.
The spokesperson for BRAS asserted that the helicopter was the target of its fighters and added that Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, who had continued to serve as Director General of Military Intelligence and Inspector General of the Frontier Corps South of Balochistan, was directly involved in forced disappearances and the Baloch genocide. Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali was one of the six Pakistani commanders who were on board the helicopter, supervising the flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan.
“Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) will continue to carry lethal attacks against the enemy (Pakistan army) until the full withdrawal of the enemy forces and the liberation of Baloch motherland”, the statement of BRAS added.
According to authorities, the helicopter left Uthal at 5:10 p.m. on Monday and was scheduled to arrive in Karachi at 6:05 p.m. but lost communication with the air traffic controller.
“A Pakistan army aviation helicopter which was on flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan lost contact with ATC. 6 individuals were on board including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan. The search operation is underway,” Tweeted Director-General (DG) ISPR on Monday, August 1.
A Pakistan army aviation helicopter which was on flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan lost contact with ATC. 6 individuals were on board including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan. Search operation is underway.DTF— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 1, 2022
Balochistan has been devastated by flash floods and heavy rains, which have killed 147 people so far. Relief operations are now being offered to the displaced in the province by the Pakistan Army and civic authorities.
Police and Army officers combed the region on Tuesday in an effort to find the chopper. However, the hazardous hilly terrain and the region’s damaged roadways caused by the flooding hindered their attempts. Later, the Pakistan army’s media wing said in a statement that the wreckage of the helicopter was found and claimed that, “the accident occurred due to bad weather.”
Notably, in February this year, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had attacked two posts in Pakistan’s southwest province neutralizing more than 100 Pakistani personnel and destroying a large part of their camps. The BLA issued an official statement confirming that the major parts of both the camps were still under their control. Then too the Pakistan military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied the intensity of the attack and declared a reduced number of deaths.