QUETTA: At least six people – among them three Chinese engineers – were wounded in a suicide attack on a bus in the Dalbandin area of Chagai district on Saturday morning.
The outlawed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a foreign-funded terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack which took place in the Dadar area.
The bus carrying Chinese engineers was being escorted by Frontier Corps (FC) troops to the Dalbanin airport from Saindaik cooper and gold mines when the bomber tried to drive his explosives-laden vehicle in to the bus.
“The explosives-laden vehicle exploded near the bus on Quetta-Taftan Highway – and as a result three Chinese engineers, two FC soldiers and the bus driver were wounded,” a Levies official told The Express Tribune.
Chagai’s Deputy Commissioner Sardarzada Saif Kethran confirmed that it was a suicide attack. “According to preliminary investigations, the suicide bomber intended to ram his explosives-laden vehicle into the bus, but couldn’t do so,” he said.
A contingent of FC and Levies, accompanied by the district administration officials, reached the spot and rescuers ferried the casualties to the District Headquarters Hospital.
DC Kethran said that the injured Chinese engineers have been flown to Karachi for better medical treatment, while the injured FC soldiers have been shifted to Quetta,
“The Chinese engineers receive minor injuries, but we have evacuated them to Karachi for better medical care,” he added.
The interim chief minister, Alauddin Marri, condemned the attack and directed the authorities to step up security of foreigners working in Balochistan,
“Terrorists are making cowardly attempts to disturb the development process in Balochistan but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs,” Marri said while ordering immediate arrest of the perpetrators.
The caretaker home minister, Agha Umar Bangulzai, reiterated that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would be completed in Balochistan at all costs. “These attacks can’t deter us from developing Balochistan,” he added.
The BLA claimed responsibility for the attack and shared on social media the photo of what it called the ‘suicide bomber’. This is perhaps the first time a Baloch terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack.
BLA and other Baloch terrorist group routinely carry out gun or IED attacks on government installations, security personnel, and labourers from Punjab working in Balochistan.