11 Chinese construction workers killed in their sleeping quarters by suspected Taliban terrorists (June 10, 2004)

On this day on 2004, Talibans were believed to be behind a terrorist attack on sleeping Chinese construction workers in Kundiz province, killing 11.

People asleep in their quarters make for easy targets for unimaginative terrorists.

KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN — I would think that most of my readers have heard of the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative (aka just the Belt and Road Initiative or BRI). It is a massive Chinese construction project that purportedly aims to hearken back to the Silk Road trading routes which were in existence for the better part of two millennia (2nd century BCE to the 18th century). The whole shebang got started in and around 2010 and has been picking up speed ever since.

What China says it is doing and what it is actually doing are two different things. It claims to be helping countries build their infrastructure when no others would be interested. In reality, however, those countries become indebted to the PRC and risk having the ownership of very projects they have delivered revert to China.

When China undertakes these construction behemoths it usually sends its own citizens to build them, denying opportunities to local tradesmen and thus contributing next to nothing to their economies. This is not the great Chinese contribution to the Third World.

If you think about it, having a bunch of workers standing around – an old joke about construction sites – makes a great terrorism target. Lots of unprotected people ripe for the taking. In fact, a Chinese crew in Gwadar in Pakistan were attacked by terrorists from the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) in May 2019.

Before the BRI began, a similar incident occurred in Afghanistan in 2004. On this day 11 Chinese construction workers and two Afghan guards were killed in their sleeping quarters by suspected Taliban terrorists. Four labourers were merely wounded.

Expect more to come. This is like shooting fish in a barrel.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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