Update: 5.07 a.m. EST — Death toll from the attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi rose to seven, which included two policemen, two civilians and three attackers. The names of the deceased have not been released.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called the attacks a strategical campaign to create unrest in the country.
“The failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China. The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine CPEC. These terrorists will not succeed,” he tweeted.
The Indian foreign ministry also condemned the attack, saying, “The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.”
The woman who was being hailed a hero by social media for leading the security operation which foiled the terrorist attack on the consulate was Assistant superintendent of Police Suhai Aziz Talpur. Speaking to the Express Tribune, Talpur credited her parents for her upbringing.
“My parents are nationalists. As a child, they used to emphasize that I memories Sindhi poetry. This developed my interest in literature and history, leading me to secure top marks in both the subjects in the CSS exams,” she said.
Hours after the attack on the consulate, there was a bomb explosion in an open market located in the town of Klaya, in the Orakzai region of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan, which killed 25 people. Local police official Tahir Ali confirmed most of the victims were minority Shiite Muslims.
It was not immediately clear if the two attacks are related.
Update: 3.00 a.m. EST — The Chinese foreign ministry condemned the attack on the country’s consulate in Karachi, Friday, where three armed assailants killed two police officers and wounded two others.
“21 people were present inside the Chinese consulate in Karachi. All remained safe. [All] three terrorists were killed,” the Chinese Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the state television. “It was a cowardly attempt by terrorists. The situation is under control and the area has been cleared.”
Arms and explosives were recovered from armed gunmen who stormed the consulate but were unable to enter the visa section of the building. One of the passport applicants who was inside the building at the time, recorded a video of the incident, which showed people hiding under tables and cautiously staying away from windows as a gunshot is heard in the background.
The man recording the video said in a panicked tone he had come to the consulate around 9 a.m. local time (11 p.m. EST Thursday) and was forced to take cover with others as they heard explosion and gunfire. He added none of them had any idea as to what was going on outside the building.
Update: 1.00 a.m. EST — All three armed men, who attacked the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, were killed by police forces, Amir Shaikh, a senior Karachi police official confirmed. Shaikh added the assailants failed to enter the compound of the Chinese consulate.
“There were three attackers who have been killed. They tried to enter the visa section but could not succeed,” he said.
Baloch separatist Baloch Liberation Army, a militant organization based in Pakistan and Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for attack, according to Al Jazeera English Web Correspondent Asad Hashim. None of the Chinese national, staying at Karachi to work on China–Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, were injured in the attack and all the staff members inside the consulate were deemed safe. Two police officers were killed and two more were injured in the attack.
“A big international conspiracy has been foiled by a prompt security action. This was an attempt to sabotage our relations with China. The attackers could not get to their target. The attackers entered into a civilian house,” Faisal Vawda, a federal minister, told reporters.
The Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked Friday by armed assailants, according to local reports.
The area around the consulate was cordoned off by the police and there was heavy presence of Pakistan Rangers after an unconfirmed number of assailants blasted the entrance gate of the building with a hand grenade and tried to make their way in.
“Three to four men attempted to enter the Chinese consulate and fired upon being stopped by security guards,” sources told local outlet Geo TV.
Pakistani Deputy Inspector General South Karachi Javed Alam Odho confirmed the attack took place around 9:30 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. EST, Thursday). Security guards manning the consulate were believed to have return fired.
New York Times correspondent from Pakistan, Salman Masood, tweeted: “Karachi Police officials saying two police guards deputed at the Chinese consulate have been killed by the attackers, believed to be at least three to four. Rangers have cordoned off the surrounding area. The attackers have managed to enter the consulate building.”
The Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked Friday by armed assailants. In this photo, Pakistani security officials stand guard outside the Chinese consulate following a bomb blast near the premises in Karachi on July 23, 2012. Photo: Getty Images/ Rizwan Tabassum
Jinnah Hospital spokesperson Dr. Seemin Jamali confirmed two bodies were brought in after the attack. Another officer was injured and believed to be in a critical condition.
One of the attackers, who was killed during the shootout, was carrying a suicide jacket and firearms.
“Chinese workers have come under attack in recent years in some remote regions but today is the first high profile attack on a Chinese facility in a Pakistani city. Would have big implications,” Masood wrote in a separate tweet.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah instructed the police to send additional contingents of forces to the consulate to ensure security of the staff present inside.
This is a developing story.
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