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Pakistan’s Military Says March Suicide Attack That Killed 5 Chinese Was Planned in Afghanistan

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Pakistan’s Military Says March Suicide Attack That Killed 5 Chinese Was Planned in Afghanistan

An army spokesperson said the attack, which killed Chinese engineers working on Pakistan’s Dasu Dam, was carried out by an Afghan national.

Pakistan’s Military Says March Suicide Attack That Killed 5 Chinese Was Planned in Afghanistan

Police officers examine the site of suicide bombing that killed five Chinese engineers at a highway in Shangla, district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, March 26, 2024.

Credit: AP Photo

Pakistan’s military on Tuesday said a suicide bombing that killed five Chinese engineers and a Pakistani driver in March was planned in neighboring Afghanistan and that the bomber was an Afghan citizen.

At a news conference, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmad Sharif said four men behind the March 26 attack in Bisham, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, had been arrested.

Sharif said the attack that killed the Chinese engineers, who were working on Pakistan’s biggest Dasu Dam, was an attempt to harm friendship between Pakistan and China. Thousands of Chinese are working on projects relating to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Sharif also said Pakistani Taliban who have sanctuaries in Afghanistan were behind a surge in attacks inside Pakistan since January in which 62 security forces were killed around the country.

He said the Afghan Taliban had failed to honor promises they made to the international community before coming to power, vowing no one would be allowed to use Afghan soil for attacks against any country.

There was no immediate comment from the Afghan Taliban government, which has previously denied such allegations.

The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, is a separate group but a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

Sharif said Pakistan had solid evidence about the TTP’s involvement in violence in the country.

Sharif also vowed that no foreigner living in Pakistan without valid documents would be allowed to stay, and 563,639 Afghans living illegally had gone back to Afghanistan since last year, when Islamabad launched a crackdown on illegal migrants. Pakistan justified the operation by claiming that foreign nationals – mostly Afghans – were responsible for a wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Sharif said Pakistan’s military had completed 98 percent of a fence being constructed along the border with Afghanistan. He said 91 percent of a fence along the Iranian border had also been completed to check illegal movement, curb smuggling, and prevent cross-border militant attacks.

Afghanistan has never recognized the porous border that runs through the heartland of the Pashtun, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group.

The army spokesman also dismissed media reports about the possibility of any deal or talks with the country’s imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan or his party. Khan is serving multiple prison sentences on charges of corruption, revealing official secrets and marriage law violations.