SHANGLA: The Bisham police submitted a report to the Counterterrorism Department (CTD) in Swat on Wednesday to lodge an FIR against unidentified perpetrators of a suicide attack that killed six people, including five Chinese nationals, on Tuesday.

Investigators said an explosive-laden Japanese hatchback car was used to target the bus transporting Chinese engineers working on a hydropower project at Dasu.

“We have obtained the close-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage from the bus and are investigating the matter,” Bakht Zahir Khan, the station house officer (SHO) of Bisham Police Station, told Dawn.

“It has been confirmed that a silver car was used in the attack,” he said, adding that the vehicle manufactured by a Japanese carmaker was laden with around 9 kilograms of explosives. He said security has been tightened in sensitive areas of Bisham and Dasu.

After the attack on Tuesday, a high-level security contingent was present at the site of the incident, including District Police Officer (DPO) Imran Khan, sub-divisional police officers (SDPOs), security officials, CTD investigation teams and Wapda security officials.

The CTD team collected evidence from the site and took CCTV footage from the second bus in the convoy.

The video, seen by Dawn, shows the car used by the suicide bomber moving slowly along the Karakoram Highway before the explosion occurred as the bus attempted to overtake it.

The intense heat from the blast destroyed the onboard security cameras, though police were able to recover evidence, including a mobile phone believed to belong to the suicide bomber and parts of the vehicle used in the attack.

DPO Imran Khan told Dawn that the CTD team “has almost traced the case”.

Work halted on Dasu dam

An official of the Dasu Hydropower Project told Dawn on condition of anonymity that Gezhouba Company, whose staff was killed in Tuesday’s attack, had suspended its operation at the site and asked the Chinese staff to stay at their accommodations until further orders.

Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Jiang Zaidong, visited a construction camp at the Dasu project, met Chinese nationals, and observed a minute of silence to pay condolences to the victims.

Mr Jiang encouraged the morale of the Chinese nationals working on the project. Wapda Chairman Sajjad Ghani also accompanied him on the visit.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2024

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