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Bodies of 5 Chinese killed in suicide bombing in northwestern Pakistan flown to China

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The bodies of five Chinese nationals who were killed last week in a suicide bombing in northwestern Pakistan were flown to Beijing on a special plane, Pakistani officials and state media said Monday.

The bodies were sent to Beijing overnight from a military air base in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The development came a week after the Chinese, along with their Pakistani driver, were killed when the suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into their vehicle in the volatile northwest as they were heading to Pakistan’s biggest hydropower project, Dasu Dam, where they worked.

On Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also visiting Dasu Dam to meet with Chinese engineers and workers. Pakistani officials will brief Sharif on the project’s progress.

Chinese and Pakistani investigators are conducting separate probes into the attack, which drew nationwide condemnation. China has also asked Pakistan to ensure the protection of its nationals working in various parts of Pakistan on projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Authorities say the Chinese bombing victims were heading to the project site amid tight security.

Other Chinese working on CPEC-related projects have faced similar attacks in recent years.

In July 2021, at least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives in his vehicle near a bus carrying Chinese and Pakistani engineers and laborers, prompting Chinese companies to temporarily suspend work.