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14 Jul, 2021 09:36

Bus bomb in northern Pakistan kills at least 13, including 9 Chinese engineers (DISTURBING IMAGES)

Bus bomb in northern Pakistan kills at least 13, including 9 Chinese engineers (DISTURBING IMAGES)

At least 13 people, including Chinese engineers and Pakistani soldiers, have lost their lives following a fatal blast on a bus that was traveling to Dasu hydropower plant in northern Pakistan. More than 30 people were injured.

The bus exploded at around 7:30 am local time (2:30am GMT) on Wednesday and claimed the lives of at least 13 people, with nine Chinese engineers among the dead, as well as two Pakistani soldiers, and two other local citizens. The vehicle was transporting the workers to the hydroelectric Dasu Dam, located in the Kohistan District.

A senior government official told Reuters that “the bus plunged into a deep ravine after the blast and caused heavy losses…The rescue operation is launched and the entire government machinery has been mobilized to rescue the injured by air ambulance.” The injured have been taken to Dasu Rural Health Center for treatment.

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It is not yet known whether the blast was the result of a roadside explosion, or if a detonating device was planted inside the bus.

An emergency statement was posted by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan in response to the attack, stating: “Recently, personnel of a project of our company in Pakistan have been attacked, causing casualties among our citizens. The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan urgently reminds Chinese citizens, enterprises and projects in Pakistan to… pay close attention to the local security situation [and] strengthen the safety of project personnel.” Beijing has also called on Pakistan to investigate the nature of the attack.

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The Dasu hydroelectric dam is a joint venture as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, worth billions of dollars. The dam has been underway since 2017, with construction starting in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2025.

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