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Five Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

2024-03-26 10:11:02

Five Chinese nationals and a local were killed in an explosion when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as per a Reuters report. Local police had reached the spot and started relief operations.

The attack took place when the alleged suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers which was on its way from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, Reuters quoted the regional police chief as saying.

“Five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack,” the top cop said, while adding that the rest of the people in the convoy were safely evacuated.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack and asserted, “Forces hostile to Pakistan will never succeed in harming Pakistan-China friendship.” In a statement issued by the Pakistani Presidency, he conveyed his condolences to the families of the Chinese nationals. Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar also condemned the attack, and said the country would continue to fight back against militants.

Reuters further quoted its police source as stating that the convoy was carrying staff of the construction firm China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) working on the Dasu hydropower project – the same company targeted in 2021.

Dasu is the site of a major dam and the area has been attacked in the past. In 2021, a blast on a bus killed had 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals. Pakistan, at the time, paid millions in compensation to the families of the Chinese workers killed. China sent its team to probe the attack.

Also, in August 2023, a convoy of Chinese engineers was attacked in Pakistan’s Balochistan province by armed rebels, and an intense gunfight ensued between the rebels and Pakistani security forces for hours.

In another attack, in May 2021, a burqa-clad Baloch woman suicide bomber killed four people, including three Chinese nationals (tutors), in an attack on a minibus carrying staff from the China-built Confucius Institute at Karachi University. The same year, in April 2021, a suicide bomb attack at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta killed four and wounded dozens.

Chinese nationals have been engaged in a number of projects in Pakistan with its “all-weather” ally China having invested billions in infrastructure projects as part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under its Belt and Road initiative.

Confirming that the deceased Chinese nationals worked for projects undertaken by CPEC, newly-inducted Pakistan’s Privatisation Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said on X, “The enemy is targeting Pak-China friendship and CPEC under a well-thought-out conspiracy, but the nation will thwart all the nefarious conspiracies along with the Pakistan Army.”

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Mar 26, 2024

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