A novel method for the generation of bursts of optical pulses is proposed. It is shown analytically that a nonlinear amplifying loop mirror in single pass configuration can transform a low power input pulse into a burst consisting of pulses with individual energy up to tens of nJ. The burst features; number of pulses; and their peak power, energy, and duration can be tuned and controlled. Numerical simulations show robustness of the technique to presence of Raman scattering and that sub-picosecond pulse duration can be achieved. The latter highlights the relevance of the proposed pulse bursts generator for material processing and in medical applications involving optical ablation.