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Shari Baloch aka Bramsh – the woman who blew herself up on April 26, 2022, in an attack killing three Chinese academics and their Pakistani driver on the campus of the Karachi University – joined Twitter in December 2021. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a non-jihadi secessionist group in Baluchistan that claimed the April 26 attack, named Shari Baloch of the BLA's Majeed Brigade as the fidayee (i.e., martyrdom-seeking) bomber.
Her Twitter profile reveals that Shari Baloch, who is the first female suicide bomber deployed by the secular Baluchi secessionist organizations fighting for the independence of Baluchistan from Pakistan, had obtained an Master of Science degree in Zoology, a Master of Education degree, as well as a Master of Philosophy degree in Education. It is possible that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (the Movement of Pakistani Taliban, TTP), which is a branch of the Afghan Taliban, aided BLA in the attack.
In a report for The Express Tribune newspaper, journalists Shahabullah Yousafzai and Hassaan Siddiqui identified that Shari Baloch "was a primary school teacher in her native Kech district in Balochistan." They noted that she obtained a Bachelor of Education degree in 2014 and the Master of Education in 2018, while her Master of Science in zoology was from the University of Balochistan and the Master of Philosophy degree from the Allama Iqbal Open University.
"She left behind a daughter Mahrosh and a son Meer Hassan – both children are as old as five. Her husband is a dentist while her father served as a director in a government agency. Later, her father also served as a member of the district council for three years. Her brother-in-law is a lecturer.
"The family are well-established, highly educated, and peaceful individuals. One of her uncles is an author, a former professor and human rights campaigner. It may be difficult to know what exactly provoked her to join the Baluchi armed struggle, but she remained a member of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO-Azad) in her student life," the journalists wrote.
Shari Baloch with her two children
Baloch had 3,339 Twitter followers and followed 102 others. It appears from her Twitter timeline that Shari Baloch was radicalized over a long period. On April 26, the day she carried out the attack on the Chinese nationals near the Confucius Institute on the Karachi University campus, Shari Baloch wrote a short goodbye tweet. On April 24, she tweeted in Urdu: "My land has taught me love and resistance." In Baluchistan province, Pakistani military is accused of abductions of Baluchi nationalist writers, youths, and activists whose bodies are often found months after their disappearances.
In a April 19 tweet in Urdu, she quoted Che Guevara, the Marxist revolutionary icon, as saying: "Die but do not sell your conscience because this is not your sell-out but a sell-out of generations." On April 25, a day before her suicide attack, Shari Baloch retweeted a tweet in Urdu quoting Cuban leader Fidel Castro advocating a revolutionary path.
On April 17, she authored a tweet in Urdu quoting Mahatma Gandhi as saying: "Bring the change in yourself that you want to see in the world." On the same day, she retweeted a tweet in English quoting Dante Alighieri as saying: "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."
Shari Baloch aka Bramsh
On April 1, Shari Baloch tweeted in English: "My only competitor is the person I was yesterday." A tweet she wrote in Urdu using the Latin alphabet, also known as Roman Urdu, on December 31, 2021, reads: "Pain, sadness and the last evening of December."
On December 24, 2021, she wrote a couplet in Urdu: "Fight the hurricanes, confront the fierce waves; how long shall you travel on the banks." On December 16-23, she tweeted in Urdu: "I am not a story that should remain forever, I have to play the role and leave." On December 13 she tweeted: "Sacrifices for a better tomorrow!"
Baluchi secessionist groups have rarely carried out suicide bombings and Shari Baloch was definitely the first female suicide bomber these groups have deployed. She seems to have created another Twitter account in February 2021. She retweeted a November 25, 2021, a Tweet that is an Urdu couplet: "I burn the life like a candle...; Will die out but will bring about the morning."
Sources: Twitter.com, accessed April 27, 2022; Tribune.com.pk, April 27, 2022.
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