By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – A suicide bomber on Saturday targeted a bus carrying Chinese nationals in the southwestern Balochistan province, injuring five people, a security official said.
“A suicide bomber attempted to hit the bus near the Dalbandin airport, however he detonated himself before to reached the bus,” Sardarzada Saifullah Khetran, Chaghi district deputy commissioner told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
Three Chinese nationals and two security personnel were injured in the attack, he added.
The bus was carrying Chinese engineers, working in the Saindak Copper Gold mines, to Dalbandin Airport.
The outlawed Baloch Libration Army (BLA), a local militant organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, is strategically important because of the rich presence of copper, zinc and natural gas.
With its 600-kilometer-long (373-mile) coastline that makes up 42 percent of Pakistan, the province is a key route to the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which aims to connect China’s northwestern Xinxiang province to Pakistan's Gwadar Port.
In another separate attack, at least three police officers were killed and two others injured when suspected militants attacked a checkpoint in the northern Gilgit region on Saturday morning.
According to Geo News, a local broadcaster, two militants were also killed in retaliatory fire.