The Islamic State says that it has killed two Chinese nationals that were kidnapped last month in Pakistan, a potential bump in China’s efforts at reviving the ancient Silk Road.
The couple were teaching Chinese at a language center in the city of Quetta near the Afghan border. On May 24th, they were abducted by armed militants posing as police officers who dragged them into a vehicle and then drove off. They have not been heard from since. No group claimed responsibility for the abduction.
The Islamic State claims that they are now dead. According to Reuters, the terrorist group’s Amaq news agency issued a notification on Thursday, saying that: “Islamic State fighters killed two Chinese people they had been holding in Baluchistan province, southwest Pakistan.”
The report has not been confirmed by the Pakistani government. Militant groups in Pakistan are known to kidnap foreigners, either to raise awareness for their cause or for ransom money. ISIS has not yet gained a solid foothold in Pakistan, but holds some territory in neighboring Afghanistan and has claimed responsibility for several major attacks in Pakistan recently.
Earlier today, China’s Foreign Ministry expressed its “grave concern” with the report, adding that the Chinese side was currently working to verify the information.
The Islamic State last killed a Chinese citizen in November 2015 when Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old consultant from Beijing was executed by the terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, if confirmed, this incident could prove problematic for Pakistan, which has been given a major role to play in China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, including $57 billion in pledged infrastructure funding from Beijing.
[Images via Sohu]
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