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Blast targeting Chinese nationals on Gwadar expressway kills two children

Two more children and a Chinese national injured in blast; Chinese national said to be stable

By Web Desk
August 20, 2021
Representational image.
Representational image.

QUETTA: Two children were killed,  while two others along with a Chinese national were wounded,  in a suicide bomb attack on  East Bay Expressway in Gwadar on Friday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that the attack was targeted at a convoy comprising four vehicles carrying Chinese nationals "with integral security details of Pakistan army and police contingent", which moved along  the  coastal road near a fishermen's colony.

A young boy equipped with explosives ran out of the colony towards the convoy as soon as it reached there and "exploded himself about 15-20 metres away from the convoy when the soldiers of Pakistan army in plain clothes employed as hang around security rushed to intercept the boy", the interior ministry said. 

According to the ministry, the injured Chinese national was said to be stable and evacuated to a hospital in Gwadar.

The two injured children, however, are said to be in critical condition and have also been hospitalised.

The statement went on to note that both Pakistan and China "recognise the threats posed to their cooperation and collaboration towards growth and development of their communities under the evolving regional environment".

"Cognizant of hostile designs, the government of Pakistan is already undertaking a comprehensive review of security of Chinese brothers and is committed to ensuring their safe stay in Pakistan in this journey of progress, the statement said.

"We reaffirm our Chinese brothers our wholehearted endeavours to deal with these threats comprehensively," it added.

The interior ministry went on to state that while the government is "saddened by injury to our Chinese brother and loss of innocent Pakistani children", both countries "stand together firmly in defeating the inimical acts aiming to undermine our cooperation and friendship".

The blast comes after a bus attack in Khyber Paktunkhwa in which 13 people, including nine Chinese workers and three Pakistanis were killed earlier in the month.

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