Last Updated: August 13, 2023, 15:36 IST
A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan October 4, 2017. Picture taken October 4, 2017. Last month, 12 Pakistan soldiers were killed in separate military operations in Balochistan. (Reuters)
Balochistan militants attack Chinese engineers near Gwadar Port. Security forces engage in firefight, 1 terrorist killed, 3 injured
A prominent Baloch militant group attacked a convoy carrying Chinese engineers to the Beijing-financed Gwadar Port in southwest Pakistan on Sunday. The Pakistani security forces engaged in a firefight with terrorists in Balochistan’s Gwadar, resulting in the killing of one terrorist, the Dawn newspaper reported, citing the country’s military’s media wing.
“BLA Majeed Brigade today targeted a convoy of Chinese engineers in Gwadar. The attack is still ongoing,” the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) said in a statement. Security sources confirmed an attack on a convoy carrying Chinese engineers, but there was no immediate official confirmation, AFP reported.
Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terror activities, particularly in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the TTP’s ceasefire ended in November last year. A report by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies revealed a rise in terror attacks, claiming 389 lives in the first half of the year.
In the past, different factions advocating Baloch separatism have taken responsibility for targeting projects associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). These attacks have prompted the deployment of a substantial number of security forces to mitigate potential risks to Beijing’s interests.
Baloch separatist groups often amplify their accomplishments on the battlefield, while Pakistan’s military public relations division tends to downplay or delay the reporting of such incidents.
Three Chinese academics and their Pakistani driver lost their lives when a female suicide bomber activated her explosive device as they approached the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi in April last year. The responsibility for the attack was taken by the BLA.
A year prior, a lethal assault, attributed to Pakistan’s Taliban, resulted in the deaths of five individuals at a high-end hotel where the Chinese ambassador was staying in Quetta. In 2021, a dozen individuals, including nine Chinese laborers, perished in an explosion on a bus transporting employees to the Dasu dam location.