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    US Sanctions Pakistan’s Balochistan Liberation Army as Terrorist Group

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has imposed economic sanctions on the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist group in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, for its terror bombings in a bid to break away from Islamabad, the US Department of State said in a press release.

    "BLA is an armed separatist group that targets security forces and civilians, mainly in ethnic Baloch areas of Pakistan", the release said. "BLA has carried out several terrorist attacks in the past year, including a suicide attack in August 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Balochistan, a November 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and a May 2019 attack against a luxury hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan".

    In addition, the US sanctioned Hezbollah operative Husain Ali Hazzima, chief of the Beirut-based terrorist group’s intelligence unit, the release added.

    Terrorist designations expose and isolate organisations and individuals, by freeing assets under US control and prohibiting US nationals from doing business with or otherwise aiding targeted groups and individuals.

    The US also updated its sanctions list to reflect a name change of the Iranian Sunni Muslim terrorist group Jundallah to Jaysh al-Adl.

    Jundallah, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in 2010, began using the new name Jaysh al-Adl and associated aliases in 2012, the release said.

    The group, which shelters in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, has engaged in numerous attacks that have killed scores of Iranian civilians and government officials, including a February 2019 suicide bombing and an October 2018 kidnapping of Iranian security personnel, according to the release.

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    terrorist group, U.S. Department of State, Balochistan Liberation Army, Pakistan, United States
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