The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi strongly condemned the attack on a convoy of Chinese engineers working on a project in Pakistan’s Gwadar port on Sunday morning.
The convoy was ambushed by bombs and gunfire on its way from the airport to the port at 9:17 a.m. local time on Sunday, according to a statement released by the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi on Sunday. No injuries or casualties were reported in the attack.
In the convoy of three SUVs and a van, all bulletproof, were 23 Chinese employees, the Global Times learned from one of the Chinese employees.
An IED exploded in the attack and the van was shot. An image obtained by the Global Times shows the bulletproof glass on the window of a Chinese convoy van shattered after the attack, with bullet holes in the windows.
According to the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, all affected personnel have been properly relocated.
The Chinese Embassy and Consulate General in Karachi on Sunday evening strongly condemned the act of terrorism and requested the Pakistani side to severely punish the attackers and take practical and effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects.
The Consulate General immediately activated the emergency response plan and reminded local Chinese nationals, enterprises and projects to be more vigilant, update security initiatives, prevent security risks, carefully monitor the security situation and ensure security.
The Chinese Embassy and Consulate General has urged Chinese nationals in Pakistan to maintain high vigilance, ensure the safety of life and property, and strictly control large-scale gathering activities due to the serious security situation.
China will continue to work with Pakistan to jointly address the threat of terrorism and effectively protect the security of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects in Pakistan, the embassy said in a statement.
Pakistani security forces killed one terrorist and injured three others during a security clearance in Gwadar, local newspaper Daily Pakistan reported on Sunday. After receiving information about the presence of militants, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to find more militants, Daily Pakistan reports.
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a militant separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack, according to media reports. Chinese personnel have been the target of terrorist attacks by the Baloch militant group many times.
In April 2022, a terrorist attack on a shuttle bus used by the Confucius Institute in Karachi killed three Chinese teachers and their local driver, for which the BLA claimed responsibility.
In August 2021, two children were killed and three injured in an attack targeting Chinese nationals in Gwadar. In July 2021, a space shuttle explosion in Pakistan that killed nine Chinese and four Pakistanis was confirmed as a terrorist attack.
In April 2021, a deadly car bomb explosion that rocked a hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta, Balochistan province, killed five people, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
In 2018, the BLA attacked the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi, southern Pakistan, during which two police officers were killed. In May 2017, 10 laborers were killed by two motorcycle-borne gunmen in what the BLA said was a reaction to the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The purpose of this terrorist attack planned by the BLA is no different from previous terrorist attacks against Chinese personnel, mainly because it wants to affect China-Pakistan cooperation, especially CPEC, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University.
The terrorist group deliberately carried out the attack in August, when CPEC had just celebrated its 10th anniversary in July, hoping to take advantage of a period of administrative change in the country.
Qian noted that although the ongoing unrest in Balochistan has limited the Pakistani government’s presence in the province, the Pakistani government managed to protect Chinese personnel from injury in this attack, demonstrating the strength of their protection. The attack will not affect the ongoing construction of CPEC in the future, he said.