Chinese teachers among 4 killed in explosion at Pakistan university


The four were in a van near the Confucius Institute of the University of Karachi when the explosion ripped through the vehicle on Tuesday evening, Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sana Ullah told CNN.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant separatist group from Pakistan’s Balochistan province, has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a statement shared with CNN.

A fourth Chinese teacher was injured in the explosion, China’s foreign ministry said.

“The blood of the Chinese people should not be spilled in vain, and those behind this incident will certainly pay the price,” the ministry said in a statement.

It expressed “strong condemnation and outrage” at the attack and demanded that Pakistan conduct a thorough investigation, punish those responsible, ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and prevent such incidents from happening again.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has condemned the incident.

China is a close partner of Pakistan and the largest source of military and economic support. But in recent years, terrorist attacks targeting Chinese citizens and their interests in Pakistan have alarmed Beijing.

Last year, 13 people, including 9 Chinese nationals, were killed in an explosion that hit a bus convoy transporting Chinese engineers to a hydroelectric plant construction site in northern Pakistan.

Islamabad blamed the attack on the Pakistani Taliban, which was operating out of Afghanistan. However, there have also been a series of attacks on Chinese citizens and their interests by the BLA, which opposes what it sees as Islamabad’s monopoly over Balochistan’s mineral resources.

Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan’s largest but most sparsely populated province. It is fundamental to Beijing’s massive multi-billion dollar infrastructure deal called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In 2020, at least five people died when Pakistan’s stock exchange in Karachi was the target of an attack claimed by the BLA, which described its actions as “retaliation” against “Chinese exploitation plans in Balochistan”.

In 2018, the BLA claimed another attack in which gunmen attempted to storm the Chinese consulate in Karachi, killing four people. It said it would not tolerate any Chinese military expansionist efforts.

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