At least nine people, including seven Chinese nationals, were killed in a blast targeting a bus in northern Pakistan on Wednesday morning, a source confirmed.

The explosion hit the bus carrying Chinese workers and engineers to the construction site of Dasu dam in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a local government official told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity. “Apparently it was carried out through an improvised explosive device,” the official said.

He said seven Chinese nationals and two Pakistani paramilitary soldiers died on the spot, while at least eight others are critically injured who have been shifted to a hospital.

While the area has been cordoned off, police are on the site for further investigation, the official added.

The Dasu hydropower project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $65 billion project aimed at connect China’s northwestern Xinjiang province to the port of Gwadar in Balochistan.

A large number of Chinese nationals are based in Pakistan to supervise the infrastructure projects.

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