• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Pakistan News

Pakistan’s Gwadar port faces terror attack; 10 killed

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif delivers a speech at the leaders summit of the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of the same name, on November 8, 2022. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Shajil KumarBy: Shajil Kumar

Heavily-armed Baloch insurgents on Wednesday stormed the Gwadar Port Authority complex in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, but security forces foiled the attack and killed eight militants while losing two soldiers.

The attack happened on the same day when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asserted that his government would not tolerate any acts of cross-border terrorism.

The separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) is opposed to China’s investments in Balochistan and accuses China and Pakistan of exploitation of the resource-rich province.

Gwadar port is key to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which also encompasses roads and energy projects and is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s belt and road Initiative.

All eight terrorists who stormed the Gwadar Port Authority complex were “sent to hell”, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, said in a statement.

ISPR said that two soldiers were also killed during the gunfight and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, and explosives was also recovered from the slain terrorists.

The Majeed Brigade of the proscribed BLA claimed responsibility for the attack. It is a suicide squad and targets security forces and Chinese interests.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti hailed security agencies for their firm response against the attackers.

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, Balochistan is home to a long-running violent insurgency. Baloch insurgent groups have previously carried out several attacks targeting the $60 billion CPEC projects.

Thousands of Chinese personnel are working in Pakistan on several projects being carried out under the aegis of the CPEC.
Balochistan faces a double threat by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Baloch militants.

Terrorist incidents have increased in Pakistan since the Taliban took over the government in Kabul, dashing hopes in Islamabad that a friendly government in Afghanistan would help to tackle militancy.

According to an annual security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Pakistan witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023 — marking a record six-year high.

China condemns attack

China on Thursday condemned the Gwadar port attack and firmly backed Islamabad’s efforts to fight terrorism.

“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack and mourn for the Pakistani personnel killed in the attack,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian told a media briefing here.

“We firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism and defend national security and stability,” he added. (Agencies)

 

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