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2 bodies found in mountains could be of Chinese couple

PTI | MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Karachi, Sep 11 (PTI) Pakistani authorities have found two bodies in the mountainous area of Mastung district in the restive Balochistan province, with officials saying that the bodies might be of the two Chinese nationals ? a man and a woman ? who were kidnapped in Quetta in May.

Samples from the bodies found on Thursday have been sent to Islamabad for a DNA test to ascertain their identity.

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A senior government official said the test was being done to ascertain identity of the deceased as the bodies were in bad condition and beyond recognition. "To be honest, they are just skeletons," the official said.

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Chinese officials have been approached to get samples from relatives of the kidnapped man and woman for the DNA test, the Dawn reported.

Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26, were abducted from Quetta in Balochistan on May 24 and later murdered. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for their killing.

The then Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar claimed that the two Chinese were involved in "preaching" instead of business activities - their declared purpose for visiting Pakistan.

Confirming reports of the killing of its nationals, China later said it had worked closely with Pakistan to rescue them but "the two may have unfortunately been killed".

The abduction forced the Chinese embassy in Islamabad to evacuate 10 of its nationals from Quetta and send them home.

Chinese interest in Balochistan has spiked in recent years after the announcement of the USD 50 billion China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which plans to connect the Pakistani port of Gwadar to Xinjiang in China.

In the past, China has asked Islamabad to improve security, especially in Balochistan, where it is building the Gwadar Port and funding roads as part of the CPEC. PTI CORR CHT ASK ZH

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