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Dhaka Tribune

5 Chinese dam workers killed in Pakistan suicide attack

  • The suicide bombing took place near a dam construction site in Pakistan
  • The attack underscores ongoing security risks to Chinese workers and investments in the region
Update : 26 Mar 2024, 09:22 PM

Five Chinese nationals working on a major dam construction site were killed along with their driver on Tuesday when a suicide bomber targeted their vehicle in northwest Pakistan, officials said. 

Their vehicle plunged into a deep ravine off the mountainous Karakoram Highway after the bomber rammed his car into them and detonated his explosives, police said.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan in recent years, but Chinese-funded projects have sparked resentment and their citizens have frequently come under attack.

Images shared with AFP show smoke rising from the valley, near Besham city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“Five Chinese and their local driver were killed in the attack,” Muhammad Ali Gandapur, a senior provincial police official, told AFP.

He said the vehicle was travelling between the Dasu hydroelectric dam site, under construction by the China Gezhouba Group Company, and the capital Islamabad.

Zahid Khan, a senior local police official, told AFP that “a suicide bomber crashed his vehicle into theirs.”

“The vehicle caught fire and plunged down the ravine,” he said.

In 2021, a bus carrying engineers to the same construction site was hit by a bomb, killing 13 people including nine Chinese workers.

Tuesday’s attack comes days after security forces killed at least seven militants as they attempted to storm the offices of Gwadar Port in southwest Pakistan, considered a cornerstone of Chinese investment.

Militants also killed one soldier as they attempted to storm a major naval air base in the country’s southwest, Pakistan’s military said Tuesday.

“Strategic projects and sensitive sites vital for Pakistan’s economic progress and the well-being of its people are being targeted as a conscious effort to retard our progress and slow discord between Pakistan and its strategic allies and partners, most notably China,” the army said.

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad described the bombing as a “terrorist act” in a statement reported by Chinese state media.

“The Chinese embassy and consulates in Pakistan strongly condemn this terrorist act, and express deep condolences for the victims of both countries and extend sincere sympathies to the families of the victims,” the embassy said.

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