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Pakistan arrest militant suspect in deadly bombing of Chinese nationals

07/05/2022 | 10:13am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A view of the crater and cordoned area near a damaged passenger van, a day after a suicide blast, at the entrance of the Confucius Institute University of Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan on Tuesday said it had arrested a militant who provided technical support for a deadly suicide bomb attack on Chinese teachers at Karachi University in April.

A suspected female suicide bomber killed three Chinese teachers, drawing strong condemnation from Beijing, in the first major attack this year against nationals of long-time ally China working in Pakistan.

Four people died in total, including the minibus driver and the three Chinese staff from the Confucius Institute, a cultural and educational program that China operates at the university.

The attack was the result of the combined efforts of two separatist groups, the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Sindh province information minister Sharjeel Memon told a news conference.

The accused man, Dad Bakash, was arrested from Karachi's district west on Monday and confessed to being commander of a sleeper cell of the BLF, he said.

"He confessed to carrying out surveillance of Chinese nationals at Karachi University and important installations on the task given by Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and met and provided assistance to the female suicide bomber and her husband."

Recently, Pakistan has been under increasing pressure from Chinese government to provide foolproof security to Chinese working in Pakistan.

Mineral-rich Balochistan houses a deep-water port in Gwadar city which Beijing is developing under the China Pakistan Economic-Corridor (CPEC) project, part of President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative to expand trade linkages.

The accused told investigators that the militant network is spread across neighboring countries and they are also in contact with the separatist groups in these countries, Memon said.

The Baloch separatist guerrillas say they are fighting for the complete independence for Balochistan as well as for a greater share in the region's mines and minerals. The groups usually attack gas projects, infrastructure and the security forces.

(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan, Editing by William Maclean)

By Syed Raza Hassan


© Reuters 2022
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