China vows support for Pakistan’s fight against terrorism

Beijing: China today condemned the brazen Taliban attack on a Pakistani air force camp near Peshawar that killed 42 people, including 29 security personnel, and vowed to support Pakistan’s fight against terrorism.

“We condemn the attack which caused severe losses of lives, and we express our condolences to the families of the victims,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei.

Hong said China supports Pakistan’s efforts to crackdown on terrorism, and believes the Pakistani government and armed forces are capable of maintaining their national security and stability.

At least 42 people, including 29 security personnel and 13 terrorists of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), were killed in the attack on the Badaber air base on Friday.

Another 29 people were wounded in the attack when a group of 13 militants wearing explosives-laden jackets and armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles stormed the base.

The air base, however, was not functional and was mostly used as a residential place for air force employees.

TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was to avenge Pakistani military bombardment of mosques and the killing of civilians in the country’s northern tribal regions.

Pakistan is carrying out military operations in its remote tribal areas where militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are believed to have a stronghold. The ETIM is waging a violent separatist movement in China’s Xinjiang.

The Pakistan air force has been playing a major role in the fight against militants since June 2014, when the army launched an operation to flush out militants from the region to end the bloody decade-long Islamist insurgency.

Peshawar has often been targeted by militants. Last December more than 150 people, mostly children, were killed by Taliban gunmen in an attack on an army-run school.