Two killed in suicide bombing targeting Chinese nationals in south-west Pakistan

A photo said to be of the scene uploaded to social media. PHOTO: TWITTER

QUETTA, PAKISTAN (REUTERS) - A suicide bombing targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in southwestern Pakistan killed two children and wounded three on Friday (Aug 20), police said.

The suicide blast took place at the East Bay Road in the port of Gwadar around 7pm.

Chinese nationals sustained minor injuries, a police statement said.

Gwadar is in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where separatist militants have waged a long-running insurgency.

"Two children have been killed and three injured in the attack," said Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the Balochistan government.

Balochistan Liberation Army, a separatist militant organisation claimed responsibility for the attack.

"BLA carried out a 'self-sacrificing' attack against a convoy of Chinese engineers," the group said in a statement.

China is involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea as part of a US$60 billion (S$80 billion) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China's Belt and Road infrastructure project.

The Pakistan interior ministry said that a young boy ran out of a nearby fishermen colony and exploded himself about 15-20 metres from the convoy.

"As a result, a Chinese national was injured, he was rushed to nearby Gwadar hospital where he is stable", the ministry said in a statement.

The four vehicles carrying Chinese nationals were escorted by army and police.

Pakistan is already undertaking a comprehensive review of security of Chinese nationals in the country, the interior ministry statement added.

In July, an attack on a bus in the northwestern province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa killed 13 people, including nine Chinese workers.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed.

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