Ten killed near China ‘Belt & Road’ projects

People offer funeral prayers for a victim of Friday’s suicide attack in southwest Baluchistan province, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Saturday, May 13. The Islamic State group said it carried out the brazen suicide attack on a Pakistani lawmaker that killed 25 people despite a protracted crackdown on the assortment of militant groups operating in Pakistan. (AP)

QUETTA, Pakistan, May 13, (Agencies): Ten labourers were gunned down in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday while working on link roads to connect outlying towns to the country’s $57-billion Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative, security officials confirmed.

The attack on the Pakistani labourers took place some 20 kms from the emerging port city of Gwadar in Baluchistan province that forms the southern hub of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “All the labourers were shot at close range,” said senior levies official Muhammad Zareef, adding that the shooters were travelling on a motorcycle.

The levies are a paramilitary force that oversees security in Baluchistan where police jurisdiction is limited to major urban centres. Gwadar’s deep-water port is the exit point for a planned route from China’s far-western Xinjiang region to the Arabian Sea. Nadeem Javaid, who advises Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government and works closely on the CPEC programme, told Reuters earlier in the week that the Gwadar-Xinjiang corridor should be operational from June next year.

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