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China, Pakistan Investigate Claim Two Chinese Teachers Executed By IS


A combo photo of two Chinese nationals, Li Xinheng (L) and Lu Ling Lina, who were abducted in Quetta in May
A combo photo of two Chinese nationals, Li Xinheng (L) and Lu Ling Lina, who were abducted in Quetta in May

Authorities in China and Pakistan say they are investigating the Islamic State (IS) extremist group's claim that two Chinese teachers kidnapped in southwestern Pakistan have been killed.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on June 9 that the government was seeking information from Pakistani authorities.

Pakistani security officials said they were investigating but that no bodies have been found.

Islamic State on June 8 claimed to have killed two Chinese nationals the extremist group had kidnapped in Pakistan's Balochistan province in late May.

The group also circulated a video of their killing late on June 8.

The two Chinese, a man and a woman, were reportedly studying the Urdu language and teaching Mandarin in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province bordering Iran and Afghanistan, when they were kidnapped.

The killing came hours after Pakistani security forces published a video showing a military operation against militants in the same province.

The Pakistani officials claimed they destroyed the training facility of sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-alami in the operation. But a statement from that group hours later claimed the facility that was destroyed and militants who were killed were from IS.

IS is believed to have executed the Chinese hostages in revenge for the military operation. China is carrying out massive infrastructure building operations in Pakistan and the number of Chinese citizens in Pakistan has increased significantly during the past year and a half.

China's state news agency Xinhua said on June 9 that Beijing is "gravely concerned" about the reported killings and is working with Pakistani authorities to verify the IS claims.

With reporting by Reuters