Bugti Killed in a military operation: This is pure murder and blood is on Musharraf's hands
BBC - August 26, 2006
Pakistan says key rebel is dead
Tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti has been killed in a battle between tribal militants and government forces in Balochistan province, Pakistan says.
The battle near his mountain hideout in south-west Pakistan also caused heavy casualties on both sides, reports say.
More than 20 soldiers and at least 30 rebels died, officials say.
The octogenarian has been at the head of a tribal campaign to win political autonomy and a greater share of revenue from Balochistan's gas reserves.
"It is confirmed, Nawab Bugti has been killed in an operation," Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani told Reuters news agency.
The battle reportedly took place near the town of Dera Bugti, not far from Mr Bugti's hideout.
One report said government forces had targeted between 50 and 80 rebel fighters, after being led to the area by an intercepted satellite phone call.
Balochistan is Pakistan's biggest province, and is said to be the richest in mineral resources. It is a major supplier of natural gas to the country.
For decades, Baloch nationalists have been critical of the central government in Islamabad, accusing it of depriving the province of its due.
They say the government took away income from natural gas and other resources, while spending only a trivial amount on the province.
For Newsline's interview with Akbar Bugti, click here
For Political profile of Akbar Bugti in Daily Times, click here