Friday Aug 20, 2021
QUETTA: An explosion targeting a convoy of vehicles carrying Chinese nationals passing through the Gwadar Expressway killed two children on Friday evening, the interior ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement, a convoy comprising four vehicles carrying Chinese nationals "with integral security details of Pakistan army and police contingent" was targeted on East Bay Expressway in Gwadar.
The targeting took place along the coastal road near a fishermen's colony, the statement added.
A young boy ran out of the colony, to target the Chinese vehicles as soon as the convoy reached there, the interior ministry said, adding that fortunately, "soldiers of Pakistan army in plain clothes employed as hang around security rushed to intercept the boy, who immediately, exploded himself about 15-20 metres away from the convoy".
According to the ministry, the blast left two children dead, and three others, including two children and a Chinese national injured.
The 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.
Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that the attack is "just another expression of game of sabotage" against the economic vision of the "great leadership" of China and Pakistan.
"Our enemy cannot undermine our resolve. We will spare no effort to bring culprits to justice," he vowed.