ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—China will dispatch investigators to Pakistan, Beijing said Thursday, after an explosion this week claimed the largest loss of life of Chinese citizens in Pakistan in recent years.
China described the explosion as an attack when it happened on Wednesday, killing at least nine of its citizens along with four Pakistanis. But Islamabad had said it was the result of an accidental natural-gas leak, a claim it began to walk back on Thursday.
The blast has cast a shadow over Beijing’s multibillion-dollar investment program in Pakistan, an ally. Beijing will now seek security assurances from Pakistan, experts say.
At China’s request, the two countries canceled a major meeting scheduled for Friday that had been called to consider new Chinese projects to be carried out in Pakistan, Pakistani officials said.
The vehicle was transporting Chinese workers to the construction site of a dam in the northern mountains when it was blown off the road by the force of an explosion, falling into the ravine below.