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11 arrested for killing 5 Chinese in Pakistan

Updated: 2024-05-28 09:47

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong (6th R, front), Pakistani officials, diplomats from the Chinese Embassy and representatives of Chinese enterprises in Pakistan attend a farewell ceremony for the Chinese nationals killed in a terrorist attack at Nur Khan airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, March 31, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities have arrested 11 extremists in connection with the suicide bombing that killed five Chinese engineers in March in the north of the country that borders Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The announcement was made at a news conference held by Muhammad Rai Tahir, Pakistan's counterterrorism chief, along with Interior Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi.

The arrested men belong to the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, which aims to overthrow the government and replace it with a harsh brand of Islamic law, Reuters reported.

Tahir said a cellphone the suicide bomber was using to communicate with his local handlers led to the arrest.

The investigation and evidence show the militants had been taking instructions from TTP leaders in Afghanistan, he said.

A suicide bomber on March 26 rammed a vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers working on the Dasu Hydropower Project undertaken by a Chinese company in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing five of the engineers and a local driver.

China supports Pakistan in continuing to find out the whole truth, arrest the perpetrators and severely punish them, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Monday.

China will continue to strengthen security cooperation with Pakistan to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan, she said.

Mao called on regional countries to deepen counterterrorism cooperation, and eradicate all terrorist organizations and their breeding grounds to safeguard the security and development interests of all countries.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired an emergency meeting with senior officials on March 27. He pledged to utilize all national resources to conduct a thorough and joint investigation and assured the bereaved families that the perpetrators would be brought to justice swiftly.

Naqvi said legal assistance will be sought from Kabul to arrest three more main members of the TTP who were directing the attacker and his facilitator from Afghanistan.

Zhou Jin in Beijing contributed to this story.

Agencies - China Daily

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