QUETTA: A suicide attack in Dalbandin area of Balochistan targeted a passenger coach carrying Chinese engineers on Saturday, wounding at least five people, including three Chinese nationals, officials said.
The attack came when 18 Chinese engineers working on a mineral project were being transported to Quetta.
Local administration and police officials said that one of paramilitary soldiers providing security to Chinese nationals and the coach driver were also wounded in the attack.
Foreign Office condemns the assault claimed by BLA
A police officer said that the attacker, waiting in a small truck along the route, exploded the vehicle when the coach carrying Chinese engineers came close to him.
He said the body of the suicide attacker was blown up in the attack and his vehicle caught fire.
The blast shattered the glass windows of the coach and damaged the front of the vehicle.
While confirming the attack, Deputy Commissioner of Chagai district Saifullah Khatiran said that the condition of all the injured was stable.
He said the engineers were working on the Saindak project, a joint venture between Pakistan and China to extract gold, copper and silver from an area close to the border.
The three injured Chinese engineers were identified as Huo Xiaohu, Shi Jiangpeng and You Riwei. All the Chinese engineers were later sent to Karachi.
The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the coach.
In a statement issued on Twitter, the militant group identified the suicide bomber as Rehan Baloch. It also published a picture of Rehan.
The police officer said body parts of the suicide bomber were found from the blast site.
The driver of the coach, Muhammad Ibrahim, told reporters in the hospital that he had averted major loss by slamming on the brakes when he saw blast in front of him.
Officials of the bomb disposal squad collected evidence from the blast site.
The Foreign Office strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on his official Twitter account said that all of the injured were stable and being treated. Pakistan remains unflinchingly undeterred in the face of such dastardly terrorist acts, he further tweeted.
Senate Chairman Mir Sadiq Sanjrani, former MNA Usman Badani and MPA-elect Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hasani also condemned the attack.
Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2018