At least 12 people, including nine Chinese engineers and two Frontier Corps soldiers, were killed and many more were injured in a bus “assault” near the Dasu hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa‘s Upper Kohistan region on Wednesday.
Official reports on what caused the deaths were conflicting; however, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, called it A “cowardly assault” that would “not deflect attention from specific Pakistan-neighbor measures.”
Condemning the attack, Awan stated that he will get a briefing on the country’s security situation from Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and will keep this house informed on the event.
Hours later, the Foreign Office refuted allegations of an attack, claiming that the bus “plunged into a ravine due to a mechanical failure resulting in gas leaking that produced a blast.” The FO also raised the death toll to 12, including 9 Chinese citizens, from 10 previously reported casualties.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, on the other hand, called the event a “bombing.”
Kamran Khan Bangash, Special Assistant to the KP Chief Minister on Information, previously stated that a high-level team has gone for Upper Kohistan, adding that officials will soon notify the people and the media of the ground facts. “The media is urged to refrain from commenting on the subject,” he stated.
According to Bangash, a huge number of security have been deployed to safeguard Chinese nationals. Those in critical condition are being transferred by helicopter, he added. He said that a significant number of Rescue 1122 ambulances and authorities had arrived at the scene.