Pakistan security agencies hunt for Chinese ETIM militants in bordering regions

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Pakistan security agencies hunt for Chinese ETIM militants in bordering regions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani law enforcement agencies have launched hunt for militants of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as part of an operation in the border region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Crackdown was started soon after Beijing alerted Pakistani authorities about gravity of threats to workers associated with Chinese projects in Pakistan which according to them prove tempting targets for multiple terrorist groups, operators of ETIM in particular last year.

“Such operations are matter of sensitivity. The ETIM and its new allies, Baloch rebels included too, tried to assemble themselves near the CPEC’s routes — but we have almost eliminated ETIM bases on our soil,” one of security operators engaged to monitor the operation revealed. “Some four dozen Uighur fighters were operating in sensitive areas of GB, KP, Gwadar and Balochistan.

They all remain committed to sabotage work on Chinese projects,” security operator who did not want to be named revealed this on Monday. Pakistani spy agencies have mounted secret raids to hunt down Chinese militants after reports that members of Islamic State militia from Xingian's Uighur community might be returning from Syria.

Hundreds of the members of the ETIM, militant group behind attacks in China Xinjian province, joined ultra extremist Islamic State in recent years, but they are now returning to Afghanistan after a near fall of Abu Baker al-Baghdadi-led group in Syria.

Security agencies are trying to trace Chinese militants, who have sneaked into Pakistan from Afghanistan to launch attacks against Beijing interests.

Chinese diplomats on 8th December last year warned its nationals of possible terrorist attacks targeting “Chinese-invested organisations and its citizens” in Pakistan. Around 30,000 Chinese workers have been engaged in around 280 projects across the country where about 35,000 security personals were deployed.