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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Chinese workers shot in Pakistan
An injured Chinese man undergoes treatment on the outskirts of Peshawar, 08 July 2007
The men worked at a small factory on the outskirts of Peshawar
Three Chinese workers have been shot dead by suspected Islamic militants in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Gunmen shouting religious slogans attacked the Chinese men at a small auto-rickshaw factory. A fourth Chinese worker was wounded in the attack.

Officials believe the attack might be linked to the stand-off at an Islamabad mosque where students are barricaded.

That siege began after Islamist students abducted seven Chinese workers they accused of running a brothel.

The Pakistani government is facing pressure from Beijing to do more to protect Chinese workers in the country.

Following the Sunday evening killings in Peshawar, China's ambassador in Islamabad urged Pakistan to "round up the culprits, properly handle the follow-up issues and take effective measures to protect all the Chinese in Pakistan".

Recurrent violence

The Pakistani authorities say wanted Islamic militants are in control of the Red Mosque and holding hundreds of women and children as human shields to prevent a full army assault.

Several Chinese women were briefly held hostage at the mosque before the siege began last week.

The women were accused by the mosque students of involvement in prostitution and were only freed after the authorities promised to shut down certain massage parlours in the capital.

Chinese workers have also been targeted in recent years by separatist militants in the western province of Balochistan.

Three Chinese engineers were shot dead in the province in February last year.

North West Frontier Province, of which Peshawar is the capital, is the scene of frequent clashes between security forces and militants allied to the Taleban movement, active in neighbouring Afghanistan.

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