A suicide bombing targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in southwestern Pakistan killed two children and wounded three on Friday, police said.
The suicide blast took place at the East Bay Road in the port of Gwadar around 7 p.m. Chinese nationals sustained minor injuries, a police statement said. 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.
Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant organization, claimed responsibility for the attack.
“BLA carried out a ‘self-sacrificing’ attack against a convoy of Chinese engineers,” the group said in a statement.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan urged Pakistan to ensure such incidents will not happen again: “The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns this act of terrorism, extends its sincere sympathies to the injured of both countries, and expresses its deep condolences to the innocent victims in Pakistan. . . .The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan . . . (is) demanding Pakistan to properly treat the wounded, conduct a thorough investigation of the attack, and severely punish the perpetrators.”
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.
“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.