BEIJING: China on Thursday took note of the arrest of two suspects by police in Pakistan in connection with the recent bus explosion that killed nine Chinese nationals there, saying it will work with Islamabad to "go to the bottom of the truth" to punish the perpetrators.
Asked for his reaction to the arrests as well as an update on the investigation into the bus blast being jointly conducted by Chinese and Pakistani investigators, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing, "I noted that the Pakistani police arrested two people suspected to have been engaged in the bus blast on July 28".
Now that the two sides are conducting a joint investigation into the case, "we will work with Pakistani side to get to the bottom of the truth, punish the perpetrators and ask Pakistani side to protect the safety of the Chinese personnel and assets to prevent similar incidents in the future," he said.
Pakistan's police on Wednesday arrested two suspects in connection with the explosion on the shuttle bus that killed 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, in Dasu area of Upper Kohistan district in the province where a Chinese company is building a 4,300-megawatt hydropower project on the Indus river.
"Two suspects, who are brothers, have been arrested in connection with the Dasu bus attack. They are from Quetta, Balochistan," Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab police said in a statement in Lahore.
The police claimed that they have established a "common link" between the incident and the blast outside the house of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Saeed in Lahore.
Three persons were killed and 24 others injured when a powerful car bomb exploded outside Saeed's residence at the Board of Revenue Housing Society in Johar Town in Lahore on June 23.
After the bus explosion in Dasu, China had rushed a special team amid confusing signals from Pakistan that it could be a gas blast.
Islamabad later admitted it was a bomb blast stating that traces of explosive substance were found from the scene.
The Dasu bus blast had accentuated Beijing's concerns as thousands of Chinese personnel worked in installations and projects being built under the aegis of the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).