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PESHAWAR: Police detained more than 12 people, including Afghan nationals, in connection with a suicide bombing that killed five Chinese engineers and their driver last week, a senior law enforcement source said Tuesday.

Beijing is Islamabad’s closest regional ally and a key investor in Pakistan’s faltering economy, but Chinese citizens have frequently been targeted by Islamist militants in recent years.

The engineers and their Pakistani driver were travelling towards the Dasu hydroelectric dam under construction by a Chinese firm in northwest Pakistan when a bomber rammed their vehicle and detonated.

“More than a dozen suspected individuals have been taken into custody,” the police source told AFP on condition of anonymity. “Among the apprehended suspects are some Afghan nationals.”

However the senior police source said “initial evidence suggests the involvement” of Pakistan’s domestic chapter of the Taliban, which analysts say has close ties to the Afghan Taliban.

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