Corps Commander General Sarfaraz among six military officers killed as helicopter crashes in Balochistan
Karachi: A helicopter carrying XII Corps Commander Lt. General Sarfaraz Ali and other senior military officials crashed in Balochistan on Monday, killing six people onboard.
The army on Tuesday confirmed that the wreckage of the ill-fated helicopter was found and there were no survivors.
The army said that the helicopter crashed due to bad weather. A terrorist group Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS), which is an umbrella of proscribed Baloch outfits, claimed its fighters targeted the military helicopter.
“A team of BRAS fighters spotted a low flying helicopter of the enemy forces. In the attack, carried out with antiaircraft guns, the helicopter was badly damaged and later completely destroyed after it crashed near Moosa Goth,” read a detailed BRAS statement.
The outfit’s spokesperson Baloch Khan said “responsibility for the attack was delayed to ensure protection of the fighters.”
After hours of search police found the wreckage of the army helicopter in Sakran area of Balochistan’s Hub. Younus Raza, a local police official, said the helicopter was completely destroyed and that two bodies were also found near the crash site.
Pakistan Army’s aviation Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil was flying inbound from Quetta to Karachi.
Earlier, DG ISPR said the Pakistan army’s aviation helicopter which was on flood relief operations in Lasbela, Balochistan,lost contact with Air Traffic Control.The ISPR said six individuals were on board including Commander 12 Corps who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan.
Other sources said that the helicopter had crashed and teams were looking for survivors.
Lt. General Sarfaraz Ali, Commander of the Southern Command or XII, previously serviced as Director General of the Military Intelligence (MI).
DG Coast Guard Major General Amjad, II Corps Engineer Brigadier Khalid, helicopter pilot Major Saeed, co-pilot Major Talha and crew member Muddassir were also onboard.
Farah Azeem Shah, a spokesperson for Balochistan government, said the helicopter carrying Commander XII Corps and other senior military officials left Balochistan’s Uthal area in Lasbela at 5:10pm but didn’t land at its destination even after over six hours.