Chinese Nationals Injured in Pakistan as Balochistan Separatists Carry Out Suicide Attack

In yet another attack on Chinese nationals in Pakistan, a suicide bombing was carried out in the southwestern region of the country on Friday. The attack, which targeted a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals, killed two children and wounded three, including Chinese nationals.

The blast took place at the East Bay Road in the port of Gwadar, Reuters reported. Chinese nationals sustained minor injuries in the attack, the agency said, citing police.

Separatist militant organization Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack. "BLA carried out a 'self-sacrificing' attack against a convoy of Chinese engineers," the group said in a statement.

Long-Running Insurgency

Gwadar is in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where separatist militants have waged a long-running insurgency.

"Two children have been killed and three injured in the attack," said Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the Balochistan government.

In July, a blast on a bus in Pakistan had killed 13 people, including 9 Chinese nationals. The bus was carrying 30 Chinese engineers to the Dasu dam in Upper Kohistan. The Dasu hydropower project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - a $65bn (£47bn) investment plan.

Beijing called the incident a bomb attack but Islamabad termed it as a vehicle failure. Later, Pakistan officials have admitted that the blast could be a terrorist attack. Pakistan's information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that traces of explosives had been found in the vehicle and terrorism couldn't be ruled out in the incident.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the Roundtable Summit Phase One Sessions of Belt and Road Forum at the International Conference Center in Yanqi Lake on May 15, 2017 in Beijing, China. Reuters

China is involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea as part of a $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China's Belt and Road infrastructure project.

The Pakistan interior ministry said that a young boy ran out of a nearby fishermen colony and exploded himself about 15-20 meters from the convoy.

Balochistan
Balochistan Wikimedia commons

"As a result a Chinese national was injured, he was rushed to nearby Gwadar hospital where he is stable", the ministry said in a statement.

The four vehicles carrying Chinese nationals were escorted by army and police.

Pakistan is already undertaking a comprehensive review of security of Chinese nationals in the country, the interior ministry statement added.

In July, an attack on a bus in the northwestern province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa killed 13 people, including nine Chinese workers. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed.

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