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Thursday 19 September 2019

Chinese Consulate in Karachi stormed by gunmen

The diplomats and their staff were not harmed.

Security officials gather outside the compound of the Chinese Consulate (AP)
Security officials gather outside the compound of the Chinese Consulate (AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Three gunmen who stormed the Chinese Consulate in Karachi are dead, police said.

The attackers killed two police officers and stormed the building in the southern port city in Pakistan, leading to an intense shootout.

Senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh said all the Chinese diplomats and staff at the consulate were safe and were not harmed during the assault or the shootout on Friday.

The Baluch Liberation Army, a separatist group based in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, claimed responsibility for the attack and released photos of the three attackers.

Authorities said the attackers first opened fire at consulate guards and then managed to breach the main gate and enter the building.

Pakistani security forces quickly surrounded the area. Local TV broadcast images showing smoke rising from the building, which also serves as the residence of Chinese diplomats and other staff.

The situation was brought under control after the shootout, which lasted for about an hour.

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Volunteers wait outside the Chinese Consulate after an attack in Karachi (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

“Because of a quick response of the guards and police, the terrorists could not” reach the Chinese diplomats, Mr Sheikh said after the fighting ended.

“We have completed the operation, and a search is still under way to trace and capture all suspects.”

Mr Sheikh said one of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest. Authorities will try to identify the assailants through fingerprints.

Dr Seemi Jamali, a spokeswoman at the Jinnah Hospital, said the bodies of two police officers were brought to the hospital while one of the consulate guards who was wounded, is being treated.

China is a long-time ally and has invested heavily in transport projects in Pakistan. The two countries have strengthened ties in recent years and China is currently building a network of roads and power plants under a project known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC.

PA Media

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