Chinese dies in targeted Karachi attack

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Unidentified gunmen yesterday fired multiple shots at two Chinese nationals, killing one and wounding the other, in a targeted attack in an upmarket area of Pakistan's Karachi.
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AFP

Pakistani paramedics push a stretcher carrying a Chinese national to a hospital after an attack by gunmen in Karachi yesterday.

Unidentified gunmen yesterday fired multiple shots at two Chinese nationals, killing one and wounding the other, in a targeted attack in an upmarket area of Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi, police said.

Azad Khan, deputy inspector general of Karachi’s south zone, said the two employees of a shipping company were targeted while out shopping for groceries.

While there was no claim of responsibility and the motive was not immediately clear, China in December warned its nationals in Pakistan of plans for imminent attacks on Chinese targets there.

Chinese presence is growing in Pakistan as China has pledged US$57 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship Belt and Road project that first focused on Chinese firms building roads and power stations but is now expanding to include setting up industries.

The two Chinese were in their car in the Zamzama district when the attackers in another car opened fire on their vehicle. The dead victim was identified as Chen Zhu, 45. The other victim’s name hasn’t been released. At least 10 shots were fired at the car, and Chen suffered a single bullet wound in the head, police said.

“The incident appears to be targeted attack, doesn’t look like a mugging,” said Khan. 

Chen “is associated with COSCO Shipping Lines Co, a Chinese shipping company. We are trying to get further details,” Khan added.

Another officer, Javed Akbar Riaz, said Chen had an employee ID from COSCO.

Tens of thousands of Chinese engineers and technicians are working in Pakistan.

Islamic State’s abduction and killing last June of two Chinese nationals in the southwestern province of Baluchistan highlighted the security risks that have put off many foreign companies.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, still has a reputation for gang shootings and other violence, despite a paramilitary crackdown that began in 2013 and sharply reduced killings.

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