Chinese engineer working on power plant hurt in bomb blast

31 May 2016

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SECURITY personnel examine the vehicle after the attack.—AP
SECURITY personnel examine the vehicle after the attack.—AP

KARACHI: A Chinese engineer, his driver and a private guard were injured on the National Highway on Monday morning in a bomb attack claimed by the little-known Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army opposed to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, according to officials.

The foreigner, who resides in Gulshan-i-Hadeed and works at a power plant at Bin Qasim Port, was travelling in an 11-seater vehicle without any official security escort when the vehicle was targeted on the highway just opposite Quaid-i-Azam Park.

“The remote-controlled bomb was planted in a flowerpot on the greenbelt,” said Malir SSP Rao Anwar, adding that it was detonated at 8.40am when the vehicle was passing through the spot.

The SSP said that the Chinese national remained unhurt though the driver sustained injuries and the vehicle was damaged.

However, a Steel Town police officer told Dawn that the Chinese national, identified as Finche, and his local guard, Hakim Ali, too received some wounds. Mr Finche sustained injuries on his hand, he added.

The victims were taken to the nearby Ayesha General Hospital from where they were discharged after having been given first aid, the officer said.

The Malir SSP said the police investigators found a pamphlet inscribed with a warning in the Sindhi language at the blast site. It carried a warning against the “foreigners who have occupied Sindh’s natural resources of oil, gas and coal”.

Sindh police’s Counter Terrorism Department official Raja Umer Khattab told Dawn after visiting the crime scene that the bomb weighed half a kilogram. “It was a locally-made remote-controlled bomb containing nuts,” he said. The explosion hit the vehicle from the driver’s side, he added.

The CTD officer said the Chinese national was on his way to Bin Qasim Port where he worked on a thermal power plant.

He suspected involvement of the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the blast, as Chinese nationals had been targeted in Balochistan and Karachi in the recent past also.

In the previous such incidents, Mr Khattab said, responsibility was claimed by Shafi Burfat-led Sindh Liberation Army. But in the latest incident, the pamphlet found at the scene contained the name of Sindhudesh Revolu­tionary Army (SRA) and the responsibility was claimed by its spokesperson Sodho Sindhi.

Sharing contents of the pamphlet, the CTD official said the SRA considered the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as an ‘anti-Sindh’ project and had vowed to foil it. The militant outfit also vowed to fight against perceived “exploitation of Sindh’s natural resources”. The pamphlet accused the security institutions of killing the youths who raised voice against it, he added.

Meanwhile, Karachi-East Zone DIG Dr Kamran Fazal, along with Malir SSP Rao Anwar and SP Foreigners Security Cell Haseeb Baig, paid a visit to the blast site. They also visited the residence of the Chinese national in Phase-I of Gulshan-i-Hadeed and met him.

The Malir SSP told Dawn that sufficient security had been provided by Frontier Constabulary, Rangers and police to the several Chinese living in Steel Town. But some Chinese had got houses on rent in the adjoining Gulshan-i-Hadeed area. “The police had asked them several times to shift to Steel Town,” said the officer.

However, SSP Anwar said there were three to four Chinese living in the rented houses in Gulshan-i-Hadeed who did not want security provided to them.

Following the morning blast, it was decided that no Chinese national would move without police security, the officer added.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2016