Two get death in Pakistan for attack targeting Chinese engineers

 In July of 2021, a bus full of Chinese and Pakistani engineers working on a hydroelectric project was ambushed.

The two men were found guilty in a special anti-terrorism court in Pakistan and sentenced to death for their roles in a suicide assault last year that killed 13 people, including nine Chinese engineers working on a hydropower project.

In the attack in July of 2021, more than twenty individuals were hurt and four Pakistani nationals were murdered after their bus plummeted into a ravine after an explosion.

The workmen were on their way to the Dasu Hydropower Project in Upper Kohistan, which is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan's northwest.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), popularly known as the Pakistani Taliban, was blamed for the attack by Pakistan's former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Qureshi has also claimed that Afghans were responsible for planning the attack.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial police stated in a news statement on Monday that the court handed down its judgement last week, convicting Muhammad Hasnain and Muhammed Ayaz and sentenced them to death on 13 charges.

On Monday, police authorities held a press conference in the city of Abbottabad and said that four persons who had been charged in the case had been exonerated owing to a lack of evidence. Four other potential attackers, they said, may have taken sanctuary in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's foreign ministry released a statement on Monday saying the verdict proved Pakistan's "abiding commitment to counterterrorism."

Chinese officials "are dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of Chinese personnel, projects, and institutions in Pakistan," the statement read.

Beijing has not commented on the ruling as of yet.

The Chinese government strongly denounced the incident and called on Pakistan to investigate and protect Chinese citizens in the South Asian country.

As part of its expansive Belt and Road Initiative spanning Central and South Asia, China has committed more than $60 billion on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

More than four hundred and fifty Chinese engineers were working on the Dasu Hydropower Project last year, according to a police officer who helped investigate the suicide assault from the previous year and who spoke with Al Jazeera.

In China's largest province of Balochistan, where a separatist movement has been going on for decades, there has been an increase in attacks on Chinese nationals and their installations in recent years.

Earlier this year, in April, a suicide bomber struck a university in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, killing three Chinese professors and their Pakistani driver. The Baloch insurgents have taken credit for the attack.


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