Saturday, May 18, 2024

Suicide Bomb Attack Targeted Five Chinese Engineers In Convoy

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File photo of Pakistani soldiers guarding the border with Afghanistan

Pakistan’s military said on Tuesday that a suicide bomb attack that killed five Chinese engineers in March was planned in neighbouring Afghanistan, and that the bomber was also an Afghan national.

The suicide bomb attack targeted a vehicle in a convoy of Chinese
engineers working on a dam project in northwest Pakistan,
killing six people.

“The entire attack was planned in Afghanistan, the car
used in it was also prepared in Afghanistan, and the suicide
bomber was also an Afghan national,” Pakistan military spokesman, Major-General Ahmed Sharif told a news conference in Islamabad.

Afghanistan’s Taliban-run administration did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have soured in
recent months with Islamabad saying the Taliban-run
administration in Kabul is not doing enough to tackle militant
groups targeting Pakistan.

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Islamabad has gone as far as to say some elements in the
Taliban are facilitating the Islamist militants of
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – which is not affiliated with
the Taliban, but has long pledged loyalty to the
Afghanistan-based movement.  Taliban officials deny this allegation.

Pakistan’s ties with the Taliban have been on a downward course ever since they took power in Kabul in 2021.  Although there was considerable euphoria in Islamabad, this turned to dismay as their former proteges turned truculent and then openly hostile.

The disagreements grew, from their refusal to recognise the Durand Line, where Pakistan has built a fence, to expressing helplessness in curtailing the activities of the Tehreek-e-Taliban against the Pakistani military.  The Taliban say, as far as the latter goes, Pakistan needs to talk to the Tehreek-e-Taliban. It has refused to crackdown on its attacks or provide Islamabad with information about its activities and the location of its leaders.

As for the Durand Line, the Taliban are clear that they do not accept this line drawn up in 1893, which incidentally, expired in 1993.

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