Team Of Chinese Engineers Targeted By Suicide Bomber In Pakistan

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024 - 02:00 AM

Separatist Islamic insurgents in Pakistan appear to be engaging in all-out war with the government and its Chinese partners who are building Belt and Road Initiative projects in the south Asian country. Beijing has been investing billions into Pakistan, but some regions are very high-risk in terms of the security situation.

After a string of attacks on locations hosting major Chinese infrastructure projects, there's been a fresh suicide attack which killed five Chinese nationals Tuesday. A Pakistani driver was also killed when a suicide attacker crashed his explosive-laden vehicle into the group's convoy, in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The Chinese nationals were engineers on their way from the capital of Islamabad to Dasu, which is the location of a new hydroelectric dam being constructed by a Chinese company.

Getty Images

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and other similar ethnic separatist groups are an immediate suspect but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

Making matters worse for rescue and recovery efforts, the Chinese convoy was attacked at the moment it traversed a mountainous area which has hard to access parts. According to Al Jazeera

"Our rescue team has successfully retrieved bodies of four people whereas recovery of two more people is still ongoing," Bilal Faizi, spokesman for Rescue 1122 group in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told Al Jazeera.

Rescue officials said the vehicle carrying the Chinese nationals fell in a gorge after the blast and at least two bodies were badly burnt, making their identification difficult.

Just a week ago there was a prior major terror attack at Pakistan's strategic port city of Gwadar, which is crucial to the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A group of heavily armed militants stormed the complex last Wednesday and engaged in a lengthy firefight with security forces.

Pakistan authorities identified the attackers as Baloch separatists, which had also been armed with bombs. At least seven of the militants were shot dead by security forces. The port has for more than the past decade been run by  the China Overseas Port Holding Company.

Ethnic separatist and radical Islamic terrorist organizations have for years waged a long-running insurgency against the government and its foreign partners, accusing Islamabad of exploiting the population of the region.

Dasu Hydropower Project DHPP

These groups have especially sought to target infrastructure and projects of the CPEC, seeing in it further confirmation that the Pakistan government is stealing from locals and enriching itself off foreign investments.

China has long deployed security forces in order to protect these key economic corridors of the One Belt One Road Initiative, also commonly called the Silk Road Economic Belt.