Three Chinese nationals were killed in a terror attack in Pakistan on Tuesday, dealing a heavy blow to the huge infrastructure collaboration between the two countries. The dead included two women, local reports said.
Female Suicide Bomber
The attack, which happened in the southern city of Karachi, was claimed by the separatist Baloch Liberation Army. The blast was carried out by a female suicide bomber.
The bomber targeted a van the Chinese were travelling in. The Pakistani driver was also killed in the blast. The Chinese were attacked on the premises of the China-sponsored Confucius Institute, which is engaged in teaching local children Chinese language.
"The explosion took place at the van's right side at the (institute's) entrance. We are still establishing what type of explosion it was," senior police officer Muqqadas Haider said, reported PTI news agency.
The rebel Baloch Liberation Army, which has been pushing a separatist agenda, is sternly opposed to Chinese investment in the resource-rich Balochistan region.
Chinese nationals who are in Pakistan to undertake work on the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects are often targeted by the Baloch rebels.
In August last year, a suicide bombing was carried out in the southwestern region of the country. The attack, which targeted a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals, killed two children and wounded three, including Chinese nationals.
Earlier that year, 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 CPEC.
China is involved in the development of a port in the southern city of Gwadar, which has seen multiple terror attacks by the Baloch Liberation forces. The port is part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China's Belt and Road infrastructure project.