Pakistan: Military Helicopter Crashes In Balochistan Province, Six Army Personnel Killed

This is the second military helicopter crash in Balochistan in just over a month. Last month, six military personnel were killed in a crash, which included a top Pakistan Army general.

Representative photo

In second such accident in just over a month, a Pakistani military helicopter crashed in Balochistan province on Sunday, killing all six personnel on board.

The crash occured near Khost in the Harnai district of southwestern Balochistan province, said the military on Monday. No reason for the crash was given.

The dead include two officers piloting the aircraft, identified as 39-year-old Major Khurram Shahzad and 30-year-old Major Muhammad Muneeb Afzal.

Balochistan is a restive province with a raging insurgency against the Pakistani rule in the region. Besides the Pakistani military and other elements of the Pakistani state, the insurgents have also targeted Chinese economic projects and workers in the provice. China is a key ally of Pakistan. 

On August 1, the military helicopter crashed in Balochistan, and its wreckage was found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela of Balochistan. The military at the time said the aircraft due to bad weather. The officials were supervising flood operations in the helicopter at the time of the accident. 

The personnel killed included Lieutenant General Safraz Ali —Commander of XII Corps— and Brigadier Amjad Hanif — Director-General of Coast Guards. 

Incidentally, Gen. Sarfraz was one of the contenders interviewed by then-Prime Minister Imran Khan for the post of Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in October last year, according to the Express Tribune newspaper. He also served as Pakistan's defence attache in the United States.

Folloging the Sunday's crash, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was deeply grieved and prayed for the deceased and their family members, adding that the entire nation shared the grief of the bereaved.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party leader Fawad Chaudhry said helicopter flying was getting dangerous in the country, adding that it required "engineering evaluation".

"Too many crashes […] rest in peace bravehearts. All were too young to die," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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