The separatist group behind the recent suicide bombing of a school in Karachi, Pakistan, has threatened China with more deadly attacks if the country continues with its Belt and Road Initiative in the Balochistan province.
In a statement published in English, Jeeyand Baloch, a spokesperson of The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), warned Beijing of “even harsher” attacks unless China stopped its “exploitation projects” in the Balochistan province, as part of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, and “occupying of the Pakistani state.”
“Hundreds of highly trained male and female members of the Baloch Liberation Army’s Majeed Brigade are ready to carry out deadly attacks in any part of Balochistan and Pakistan,” Baloch said.
The separatist group claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack in which a woman suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside China’s Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi. The incident reportedly killed four people, including three Chinese teachers, drawing condemnation from Beijing.
The separatist group later revealed the identity of the suicide bomber as Shaari Baloch, a 30-year-old mother of an 8-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy, who was a science teacher studying for a master’s degree at the university.
Only four suicide attacks in Pakistan over recent years have been carried out by women, and the BLA noted Tuesday’s deadly event marked their first.
A university official had previously raised concerns over the safety of the 15 Chinese teachers working there. An unnamed source also told Agence France-Presse that there were reports in February that suggested an “attack might be carried out on campus.”
When asked if the recent attack would affect China’s relationship with Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “The ironclad friendship between China and Pakistan is unbreakable. Any attempt to undermine the two countries’ mutual trust and cooperation, as well as the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will fail.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said authorities have already begun their full-scale investigation in Sindh and Karachi.
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