Pakistan arrests militants liked to attack on Chinese nationals

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities said that they have arrested 11 militants connected to the suicide bombing that resulted in the deaths of five Chinese engineers in March in northern Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

The announcement was made during a news conference by Pakistan’s counter-terrorism chief Rai Tahir and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

The detainees are members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organization comprising militant groups.

Tahir revealed that a cellphone used by the suicide bomber to communicate with local handlers led to the suspects’ arrest.

The investigation indicated that the militants received directives from TTP leaders.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi stated: “We have forensic evidence to prove that the TTP militants operating from Afghanistan were involved in the attack.”

In March, a suicide bomber drove a vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers working on a dam project in northwest Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of five engineers and a local diver. The incident has exacerbated tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with Islamabad accusing Kabul of failing to curb militant activities targeting Pakistan.

Minister Naqvi also mentioned that legal assistance would be sought from Kabul to apprehend three additional TTP members who directed the attacker and his facilitator from Afghanistan. “We want Afghanistan to act against these terrorists. Either try them there or hand them over to us,” he added.