LAHORE - The head of a leading separatist party in Balochistan has been ‘killed’, a development that the security sources claim to be their major victory.

Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, chief of Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), an organisation involved in a number of major militant acts in Balochistan, has been taken out in a security operation, claimed security sources.

Some informed Baloch leaders from Mashkay area of Awaran, the home district of Dr Allah Nazar, confirmed to The Nation on Tuesday that the separatist leader has been killed.

Security sources said Dr Allah Nazar was ‘eliminated’ in an intelligence-led operation carried out late night on Eidul Fitr. Ali Nawaz Baloch, another senior BLF commander and brother of Allah Nazar, was also killed in the anti-terror action.

An electronic chip planted by an intelligence mole at the BLF camp guided the security operatives to the location. The soldiers searched the camp when exchange of fire was over but they could not find Dr Allah Nazar or his dead body.

Security sources believed the body of separatist leader might have been left unidentifiable in the mortar shelling or it could have been taken out before the soldiers entered the camp.

Balochistan Frontier Corps Spokesman Khan Wasay neither denied nor confirmed the killing of Dr Allah Nazar. He however said there was no sign that the BLF leader was still alive.

BLF spokesperson Gauhram Baloch had released an old interview of his party chief to certain Baloch media outlets after the operation, claiming the leader was alive. But no fresh audio or video of Dr Allah Nazar has surfaced so far.

Confirming his death, some Baloch leaders belonging to Allah Nazar’s hometown said the militant group fearing demoralisation among its ranks would not announce the death before electing a new chief.

Frontier Corps spokesman said second-line BLF commanders are surrendering along with their foot soldiers after Allah Nazar’s death.

Dr Allah Nazar launched his operations against the state in Awaran, Panjgur and Turbat, coastal line of Balochistan. There has been no major militant activity since the Eid operation.

BLF, considered as the deadliest among the Baloch separatist organisations, made headlines when it claimed responsibility for killing three Chinese engineers in Gwadar on May 2004.

Belonging to a middle class family of Mashkay, Allah Nazar started his political career from the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO). He openly advocated for an armed struggle against the state.

In 2003, he went underground to launch operations against the state. An intelligence agency picked him up in March 2005 from an apartment in Karachi but he was released in August 2006. After his release on bail, he went into hiding again and resumed his subversive activities.