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Two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan

QUETTA: Two Chinese nationals working in Pakistan were kidnapped Wednesday, local police and China’s state media said, in an attack which could raise safety concerns for Beijing’s multi-billion dollar investment in the country.  The abductions happened in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, which is at the heart of the $50 billion China Pakistan...

SAMAA | - Posted: May 24, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 24, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

QUETTA: Two Chinese nationals working in Pakistan were kidnapped Wednesday, local police and China's state media said, in an attack which could raise safety concerns for Beijing's multi-billion dollar investment in the country. 

The abductions happened in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, which is at the heart of the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and which is wracked by separatist and insurgents.

"A Chinese couple was kidnapped from the neighbourhood of Jinnah town in Quetta today, the couple were running a Chinese language centre," senior local police official Aitzaz Goraya told AFP.

"When they left the language centre for lunch, they were dragged into a vehicle without number plates by three unknown men," he said. The men then began firing weapons in the air to scare off onlookers.

One Chinese woman managed to escape and ran back to the centre, while a passer-by received a gunshot wound.

The incident was confirmed by Ahsan Mehboob, the provincial police chief.

Passer-by Muhammad Zahir told AFP: "I was walking on the road when I saw three men forcing a Chinese woman in a white car and she was refusing and crying, I stopped to observe the situation but they had forced the woman in the car by then and were pushing the man.

"So I rushed to them and asked what they were doing. One of them said we are from the crime branch of the police and we are taking them for investigation and I told them that they should not misbehave with people, then the driver came out and shot me in my foot," the 35-year-old said.

Chinese state media confirmed the kidnappings, while deputy chief of mission in Islamabad Lijian Zhao said the embassy was working toward their release.

China is ramping up investment in its South Asian neighbour as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 that will link its far-western Xinjiang region to Pakistan's Gwadar port in Balochistan with a series of infrastructure, power and transport upgrades. -AFP
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