Pakistan: 13 killed, including 9 Chinese, after bus falls into ravine

Peshawar: An explosion on a bus killed 13 people in north Pakistan on Wednesday, including nine Chinese nationals, in what Beijing said was a bomb attack but Islamabad called a vehicle failure. Two Pakistani soldiers were also among the dead after the explosion sent the bus plunging into a ravine. Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for several years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa, where the blast occurred. Chinese working in Pakistan have been attacked previously, particularly in the south-western province of Balochistan where separatist militants have waged an insurgency against authorities. The separatists have also attacked the Chinese consulate in the southern city of Karachi. Additionally, Islamist militants have also previously targeted Chinese nationals.

TALIBAN TAKES KEY BORDER POST

The Taliban flag is fluttering above a key border post between Afghanistan and Pakistan – a clear assertion that the post is now under their control. Afghan officials have denied the post has collapsed, although pictures on social media showed Taliban militants chatting with Pakistani border guards. The post is located above the Spin Boldak crossing near Kandahar. According to the BBC, the Taliban took the border crossing with no resistance. The border post dividing the Afghan town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province, on one side, and the Pakistani town of Chaman, on the other, is the second busiest crossing between the countries. It links the city of Kandahar to Pakistan's ports, and sees some 900 trucks pass through each day. The crossing would be a major trophy - symbolically and strategically - if the Taliban continue to hold it, according to BBC.

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