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Pakistan to conduct DNA testing on remains of suicide bomber who killed 5 Chinese nationals

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NEW DELHI: Pakistani authorities are said to conduct DNA testing on the remains of the suicide bomber involved in the tragic incident in the country’s northwest.
The attack in Shangla district claimed the lives of five Chinese nationals and a local driver. This area is significant as it is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (Cpec), where numerous Chinese workers are involved in various projects like road construction and power plants, crucial for Pakistan‘s economy.
The victims, engineers and labourers on their way to the Dasu Dam, the largest hydropower project in Pakistan, were under police escort during the attack. The investigation updates have been shared with Chinese officials, who will send their experts to the site for further investigation in collaboration with Pakistani authorities. The search for possible accomplices of the attacker has been intensified.
While no group has claimed responsibility yet, suspicion points towards separatists and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction, Gul Bahadur, a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, denied any involvement in the attack.
China on Tuesday condemned the suicide bomb attack. “The Chinese embassy and consulates in Pakistan strongly condemn this terrorist act, and express deep condolences for the victims of both countries and extend sincere sympathies to the families of the victims,” the embassy said in a statement.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured a prompt resolution during discussions with the Chinese ambassador Jiang Zaidong.
Chinese labourers working on Cpec-related projects in Pakistan have come under attack in recent years.
In July 2021, at least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle near a bus carrying several Chinese and Pakistani engineers and labourers, prompting the Chinese companies to suspend work at the time. Pakistani authorities at the time initially insisted it was a road accident, but China disputed the claim, saying victims were the target of a suicide attack.
(With inputs from agencies)

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