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Pakistan

Pakistan detains 8 Chinese who tried to enter power plant with guns

Incident comes after a suicide bomber struck a bus carrying Chinese engineers in the Baluchistan province on Saturday, wounding three of them as well as three paramilitary guards

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 August, 2018, 12:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 August, 2018, 9:48pm

Police in Pakistan said they have detained eight Chinese nationals who tried to enter a power plant with weapons in the eastern Punjab province.

Officer Zafar Iqbal said the eight men were stopped at a checkpoint on Sunday outside the Qadirabad power plant in Sahiwal after a pump-action gun, a handgun, a rifle and ammunition were found in their vehicle. He said an investigation was underway.

More than 30,000 Chinese nationals live in Pakistan, many of them working on projects under the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Beijing’s vast trade and infrastructure strategy.

As Beijing expands its influence in the region, its overseas agencies and staff are facing increasing security threats, and China’s embassy in Islamabad in December warned Chinese organisations and nationals in Pakistan to be on alert for “a series of attacks”.

A suicide bomber struck a bus carrying Chinese engineers in the Baluchistan province on Saturday, wounding three of them as well as three paramilitary guards.

The Baluch Liberation Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility.

A police source was quoted by NDTV as saying that the Chinese were carrying the weapons for “self-defence”.

“In the wake of yesterday’s attack on a passenger coach in Balochistan in which three Chinese nationals were injured, there has been a sense of insecurity among the Chinese workers,” the source said.