Pakistan holds suspect in slaying of Chinese workers
QUETTA, Pakistan, July 4 (Reuters) Pakistani security forces have arrested a tribal militant commander suspected of involvement in the slaying of Chinese workers in southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said today.
Three Chinese engineers were gunned down in the town of Hub in February. Three others were killed in a bomb blast in the port town of Gwadar in 2004.
The man, identified as Mohammad Shah, was suspected of involvement in both attacks, a security official said on the condition of anonymity.
''He was the area commander of Baluchistan Liberation Army,'' he said, referring to a militant group outlawed by the government earlier this year.
Chinese firms are heavily involved in infrastructure projects in Baluchistan where Baluch militants are fighting for more autonomy.
Baluchistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is the largest but the poorest of Pakistan's four provinces and has the country's largest gas and oil reserves.
The militants regularly blow up railway links, gas pipelines and power pylons, and launch attacks on government buildings and army bases to press for their demands.
The simmering revolt escalated in December when rebels fired rockets during a visit by President Pervez Musharraf to the town of Kohlu.