2 Chinese teachers 'likely' killed by ISIS in Pakistan

BEIJING • Pakistan has told China that two Chinese teachers kidnapped by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Pakistan are likely dead, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing said yesterday, adding that the government was trying to get more details.

ISIS has claimed that its fighters killed the two teachers, who were kidnapped on May 24 in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, where China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.

The two, a man and a woman, were kidnapped in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, by armed men pretending to be policemen.

"According to the most recent information Pakistan has provided, these two kidnapped Chinese citizens have probably already been murdered," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying. China is trying to verify the information, she added.

"China resolutely opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism, and supports Pakistan's efforts to fight terrorism and maintain domestic security and stability."

Pakistan had gone all out in its rescue efforts and promised to continue to do its utmost to protect Chinese citizens, she added.

The kidnapping was a rare security incident involving Chinese nationals in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged US$57 billion (S$79 billion) under its massive Belt and Road initiative to build rail, road and power infrastructure.

The killing of the teachers was claimed by ISIS' Amaq news agency on Thursday. "Islamic State fighters killed two Chinese people they had been holding in Baluchistan province, south-west Pakistan," said Amaq.

A Baluchistan government spokesman said officials were in the process of confirming whether the report was correct.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistan's Interior Ministry or its foreign office.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2017, with the headline '2 Chinese teachers 'likely' killed by ISIS in Pakistan'. Print Edition | Subscribe