Chinese embassy urges probe into terror attack which killed 3 Chinese national outside Karachi Uni's Confucius Institute
Three Chinese nationals were killed after what appeared to be a targeted suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan outside the University of Karachi’s Confucius Institute on Tuesday afternoon local time, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan told the Global Times.
Four people were killed and two others were injured, the embassy said.
According to Pakistani media, surveillance footage showed the van burst into flames and exploded around 2:30 pm.
A spokesperson for the university confirmed that the victims, who were all in the van are director of the Confucius Institute, two teachers and a Pakistani driver, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.
The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Dawn.
Raja Umar Khattab, a Counter-Terrorism Department official, said the attack was a suicide attack, adding that ball bearings were found at the site of the blast, Dawn reported.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif sent his condolences to the Chinese Embassy, expressing grief for the victims and condemning the attack. According to a statement obtained by the Global Times.
Sharif said he offers his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the government of China, and has instructed the matter be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
“Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Sharif said. “The nefarious designs of the enemies of [the] Pakistan-China Strategic Cooperative Partnership will neither dent our Iron Brotherhood nor impact our cooperation.”
The chief minister of Singh, the province which Karachi belongs to, paid a visit to the Chinese Consulate where he briefed Consul General Li Bijian about the blast, according to Pakistani media.
"Some elements do not like the partnership between the two countries," he said, adding that the miscreants behind the incident would be dealt with an iron hand.
In the wake of the attack, China State Construction launched a security review, not only into goods and products, but also technologies and relevant personnel, and the company’s institutions and projects in Pakistan are safe, a company spokesperson told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The company will upgrade its security to ensure the safety of its employees, the spokesperson said, adding that the firm prioritizes the safety and health of its employees.
China State Construction has invested in a number of flagship projects under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, including the Peshawar-Karachi Motorway, the largest transportation infrastructure project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
This is not the first time the BLA has targeted Chinese nationals or Chinese government projects in Pakistan.
In May 2017, 10 workers were killed by two gunmen on motorbikes, which the BLA claimed was a response to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
In November 2018, the group attacked the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi. Two police officers were killed.
In August 2021, two Pakistani children were killed and one Chinese national were injured in an attack targeting Chinese nationals in the southern port of Gwadar, Pakistan.
Due to historical reasons, the Baloch people were forcefully separated from colonial forces and formed a strong sense of nationalism. The tribes in that province have a negative sentiment toward the modern governance of Pakistan's central government, and gradually formed terrorist groups. They have no prior enmity toward China.