KABUL, May 8 (Reuters) - The Taliban defence ministry on Wednesday rejected Pakistan's allegations that Afghans were involved in an attack on Chinese engineers, as ties between the neighbouring nations sour amidst rising insecurity.

Pakistan's military had said at a press conference on Tuesday that a suicide bomb attack in March in Pakistan's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, that killed five Chinese engineers, was planned in neighbouring Afghanistan, and that the bomber was an Afghan national.

"Afghans are not involved in such matters," said Mufti Enayatullah Khorazmim, the spokesperson for Afghanistan's Taliban-run Ministry of National Defence.

"Blaming Afghanistan for such incidents is a failed attempt to divert attention from the truth of the matter and we strongly reject it," he added.

A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers working on a dam project in northwest Pakistan in March, killing six people.

"The killing of Chinese citizens in an area of ​​Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that is under tight security cover by the Pakistan Army shows the weakness of the Pakistani security agencies," Khorazmim said.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have soured in recent months. Islamabad says Kabul is not doing enough to tackle militant groups targeting Pakistan and in March Pakistan carried out airstrikes targeting militants on Afghan territory.

Last year, Pakistan expelled nearly 370,000 undocumented Afghan nationals, saying the majority of suicide attacks against its security forces were carried out by Afghans, a charge Kabul rejected.

Pakistan's military spokesman said on Tuesday that security for 29,000 Chinese nationals in Pakistan, many of them working on infrastructure projects, was the top priority for security institutions.

The Taliban are also seeking economic ties with China, the first country to formally appoint an ambassador to Kabul under the Taliban, and wish to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is Beijing's $65 billion investment in development and infrastructure.

Photo from AFP