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Pakistani authorities have announced that they will conduct DNA testing on the remains of the suicide bomber responsible for an attack that killed five Chinese nationals who were working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The victims were engineers and laborers heading to the Dasu Dam, Pakistan’s largest hydropower project. This attack occurred in the Shangla district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where thousands of Chinese nationals are involved in various megaprojects. The CPEC is crucial for Pakistan’s economy, and the attack has raised concerns about the safety and security of foreign workers in the country.

Following the attack, Pakistani officials have been working closely with their Chinese counterparts to investigate the incident. China is expected to send its own experts to the site to conduct an independent investigation in collaboration with Pakistani authorities. There is currently no claim of responsibility for the attack, but suspicions are focused on separatist groups such as the Baluchistan Liberation Army and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. The TTP has denied any involvement in the suicide bombing, distancing themselves from the attack on the Chinese engineers.

This attack comes less than a week after Pakistani security forces thwarted an attempt by Baluchistan Liberation Army separatists to target Chinese citizens near the Gwadar port in Baluchistan province. The Chinese government has condemned the attack and called for a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Pakistan’s Prime Minister has promised a swift conclusion to the investigation and reassured the safety of all foreigners, especially Chinese nationals, working on projects in Pakistan. The Chinese ambassador visited the Dasu dam to assess the situation firsthand and discuss security measures with Pakistani officials.

Chinese laborers working on CPEC-related projects in Pakistan have been targeted in recent years, including a suicide bombing in July 2021 that killed nine Chinese nationals. The attack prompted Chinese companies to suspend work out of concerns for their employees’ safety. While Pakistani authorities initially claimed it was a road accident, China refuted this and insisted it was a deliberate attack on Chinese workers. These incidents highlight the risks faced by foreign workers in Pakistan and raise questions about the country’s ability to ensure their safety and security. The Pakistani government’s response to these attacks will be crucial in maintaining confidence in the CPEC and other international collaborations.

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