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Pakistan says bus attack that killed Chinese workers was carried out by Islamist militants backed by India and Afghanistan

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says a bus attack that killed nine Chinese workers was a suicide bombing carried out by Islamist militants backed by Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies.

he minister said an investigation into the attack showed there was a “nexus of Indian RAW and Afghan NDS” in the attack, referring to the respective intelligence agencies of India and Afghanistan.

Mr Qureshi, addressing a news conference in Islamabad together with a top investigator, said Pakistan has data evidence to back the allegation that the intelligence agencies from the two neighbours were involved.

Officials from the Indian and Afghan foreign ministries could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Qureshi said that Pakistani Taliban militants — known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella movement of militant groups linked to Al Qaeda and Islamic State — carried out the attack on July 14 with the backing of the two intelligence agencies.

“As per our investigation the Afghan soil was used for this incident… about its planning and its execution we’re seeing a clear nexus between NDS and RAW,” Mr Qureshi said.

The investigator, Javed Iqbal, said the bomber was not a Pakistani and that over 100 kilograms of explosives were used.

“Around 100/120 kilograms of high explosive were used in the car bombing,” Mr Iqbal said.

Video footage, cell phone data analysis, investigation of local handlers and facilitators and forensic examination of the car used in the bombing all revealed that the TTP in Afghanistan had planned this attack, he said.

The blast hit a bus carrying the Chinese workers on their way to a dam construction site in northern Pakistan.

Pakistan and India are longtime rivals and frequently trade accusations — which both sides deny — that the other country is behind attacks.

Pakistan originally blamed a mechanical failure for the blast but later said traces of explosives were detected and that it could not rule out an attack.

Chinese investigators have been involved in the probe, Mr Qureshi said.

Source: Reuters, AP Photo