The militant Islamic State (IS) group on Thursday claimed it had killed two Chinese nationals who were abducted from Quetta last month.

China and Pakistan both have said they are probing the IS claim that two abducted Chinese teachers have been killed.

The Foreign Office, in a statement issued Friday evening, stated that the government is working to confirm the authenticity of the reports of the killing of the Chinese nationals.

"We are in constant contact with the Chinese Government," the statement read.

A senior government official, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn.com that an investigation into the IS claim is underway.

The claim came hours after Inter-Services Public Relations released details of a three-day operation in the Mastung area of Balochistan earlier this month targeting 'IS facilitators', in which security forces had killed 12 "hardcore terrorists, including two suicide bombers".

The official said that the vehicle used in the kidnapping of the Chinese was found during the Mastung operation. "We cannot confirm the claims made by the IS right now," the official said.

Two security officials in Islamabad quoted by AP added that no bodies have been found during the ongoing investigation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told the official Xinhua News Agency Friday that the government was seeking information from Pakistani authorities.

At a news briefing, Chunying said that Pakistani authorities told Chinese authorities the abducted teachers are 'probably dead'.

"We have taken note of relevant reports and we express our grave concern. We have been trying to rescue the two kidnapped hostages over the past days," Hua was quoted as saying.

CCTV footage shows the car in which the Chinese nationals were abducted.─Security sources.
CCTV footage shows the car in which the Chinese nationals were abducted.─Security sources.

The two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman, were teachers at a private language school in Quetta. They were kidnapped from the Jinnah Town neighbourhood on May 24 by gunmen dressed as police who stopped their car.

A bystander who attempted to intervene was shot and wounded while rescuing a third person.

A statement late Thursday from the IS news agency said the two Chinese teachers had been killed.

Thousands of Chinese work in Pakistan and have sometimes been targeted by militants.

Amid Beijing’s growing concerns about the safety of two of its abducted nationals, the National Security Committee also reviewed the security of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and Chinese nationals based in the country.

Following the abduction, 11 Chinese nationals living in the vicinity under tight security were shifted to Karachi for their departure to China.

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...