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A suicide bomber attacked a vehicle in northwest Pakistan, killing five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver. The attack took place in Shangla, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This incident follows the killing of eight Baluchistan Liberation Army militants who targeted a convoy carrying Chinese citizens near the Gwadar port. The victims were construction workers and engineers heading to the Dasu Dam project. Security forces were deployed to search for accomplices, and an investigation was launched. Pakistan’s Interior Minister condemned the attack and vowed to deal with those responsible, expressing hope that it wouldn’t impact Pakistani-Chinese relations.

The attack highlights the dangers faced by Chinese nationals working on projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Pakistan. The CPEC is a crucial part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to link China to all corners of Asia through infrastructure projects. Thousands of Chinese nationals work on CPEC-related projects in Pakistan, such as road construction, power plants, and agriculture. Chinese laborers in Pakistan have previously been targeted in attacks, leading to increased security measures in the area.

The Pakistani Taliban have intensified their activities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the attack took place, bordering Afghanistan. The province has been a hotspot for militant activity in recent years, posing a threat to foreign nationals working on development projects. The BLA, a separatist group in Baluchistan, has carried out attacks targeting Chinese citizens to protest against the central government in Islamabad. Pakistan’s government has faced challenges in maintaining security in the region, despite efforts to bolster protection for Chinese workers and projects.

In response to the attack, Pakistani security forces have launched a massive search operation in the area to apprehend any accomplices. The government has also promised a full investigation into the incident and has vowed to take strict action against those responsible. Chinese and Pakistani officials have reiterated their commitment to maintaining strong relations and ensuring the safety of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan. The attack serves as a reminder of the risks faced by foreign workers in conflict-affected areas, and the need for continued vigilance and security measures to protect them.

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