pak shio-1664438671017
Police officers stand guard at a clinic in Karachi where the shooting happened on September 28. Image Credit: REUTERS

KARACHI: A gunman killed a Chinese national and wounded two others in an attack in Pakistan on Wednesday, police said.

Chinese nationals and interests have regularly been targeted by militants in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where Beijing is involved in mining and energy projects.

The attack happened in the economic port city of Karachi that neighbours Balochistan.

Police said they were investigating the motive but believed that the gunman was from the restive region.

He “entered the clinic and sat waiting for treatment before he suddenly opened fire,” police said in a statement.

A husband and wife couple who owned the clinic were wounded in the shooting, while a man who was an employee was killed.

“All were Chinese and Pakistani dual nationals,” the statement said, adding that the attacker did not hurt any ethnic Pakistanis.

China does not allow its citizens to have dual nationalities. Pakistan has a sizeable Chinese diaspora, including communities who have resided in Karachi for several generations, as well as newer migrants in search of economic opportunities.

Interior minister Rana Sanaullah condemned the attack on Wednesday.

“Such incidents are intolerable,” he said in a tweet. “The security of Chinese residents should be ensured in every way.”

China is upgrading energy links and infrastructure as part of a $54 billion programme known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, with both nations wary of security threats to the projects.

Several militant groups have spent years fighting for independence in Pakistan’s biggest and poorest province of Balochistan, rich in untapped mineral resources.

Three Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in April in a suicide attack carried out by a woman and claimed by separatist group Baloch Liberation Army.

A year earlier, a suicide bomb attack at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, killed four and wounded dozens.

The ambassador was unhurt.

In July last year, a bus carrying engineers to a construction site near a dam in northwestern Pakistan was hit by a bomb, killing 13 people including nine Chinese workers.