PESHAWAR - At least 8 people, including at least 6 Chinese nationals and 1 Pakistani soldier, were killed in a blast targeting a bus in a remote region of northern Pakistan on Wednesday, multiple sources told Reuters.
It was not immediately clear if the blast was the result of a roadside device or something planted inside the bus.
"The bus plunged into a deep ravine after the blast and caused heavy losses. One Chinese engineer and 1 soldier are missing. The rescue operation is launched and the entire government machinery has been mobilized to rescue the injured by air ambulance," a senior government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
He said 6 Chinese nationals, a paramilitary soldier and 1 local were killed. Several people were injured, he said.
A senior administrative officer of the Hazara region told Reuters the bus was carrying over 30 Chinese engineers to the site of the Dasu dam in Upper Kohistan.
The Dasu hydroelectric project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $65 billion investment plan under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative that is aimed at connecting western China to the Gwadar sea port in southern Pakistan.
Chinese engineers along with Pakistani construction workers have been working on the Dasu hydroelectric project and several others for several years in the region where the blast took place.