According to police, three Chinese language teachers and their Pakistani driver were killed in a suspected suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan’s southern city.
Near the university’s Confucius Institute, the blast ripped through their minibus, injuring at least four others.
The separatist Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Chinese staff vehicle, claiming that the suicide bomber was a woman.
Locals, according to the group, do not benefit from Chinese investment in Pakistan.
It would be the first time a female militant carried out a suicide attack for the BLA. The Pakistani Taliban, like the Chinese Taliban, has targeted Chinese nationals on several occasions.
China is heavily involved in large infrastructure projects across Pakistan, including in the resource-rich province of Balochistan.
Three Chinese citizens were killed in Tuesday’s blast, according to the Chinese embassy in Pakistan. The Pakistani government denounced the “cowardly terrorist attack.”
In Karachi, the dead included the director of the Confucius Institute, a Chinese government-run organisation that provides language and cultural programmes abroad, as well as two other faculty members.
A woman was seen standing outside the institute’s gate as the van arrived, followed by a powerful explosion, according to CCTV footage.
The BLA released a photo of a woman in fatigues saluting with two fingers, claiming she was the attacker and identifying her as Shariah Baloch alias Bramsh.
According to local media, the bomber was a student at the university.
Balochistan, Pakistan’s poorest province but rich in natural resources, is home to a long-running insurgency.
Major Chinese infrastructure projects on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of roads, railways, and pipelines connecting the two countries as part of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, are transforming the region.