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Alleged leader of Chinese consulate attack in Pakistan reported killed

Posted in S. Asia

Published on January 02, 2019 with No Comments

One of the alleged masterminds of an attack by a Pakistani separatist group on the Chinese consulate in Karachi last month has been killed along with five associates, the insurgent group has said.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which opposes projects linked to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative in resource-rich Baluchistan, issued a statement  confirming the death of Aslam Baloch, one of its leaders.

“The important BLA commander Aslam Baloch, along with five associates in the organisation were martyred in an enemy attack on Monday,” Jiand Baloch, a spokesman for the separatist group is reported to have said.

As per reports,  Aslam was killed along with a number of his commanders in a suicide attack in Aino Maina in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, across the border from Baluchistan.

Last month, three attackers stormed the Chinese consulate in Karachi, killing four people. Security forces killed the three attackers who were carrying explosives. Pakistan has long accused its old rival India of supporting insurgents in Baluchistan. India denies helping Baluchistan insurgents and accuses Pakistan of nurturing Islamist militants throughout the region.

China has funded development of a deepwater port at Gwadar in south Baluchistan, and is also investing in other projects as part of the giant China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Baluchistan, on the borders of Afghanistan and Iran, has rich mineral and natural gas reserves but is Pakistan’s poorest province. Separatists have for decades campaigned against what they see as the unfair exploitation of resources, in particular natural gas and minerals.

 

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