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Two policemen killed as gunmen storm Chinese consulate in Pakistan

Two policemen were killed today when gunmen armed with hand grenades and a suicide vest stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi, officials said.

The attackers killed the officers and stormed the building in the southern port city, leading to an intense shootout at about 9:30am local time (4:30am GMT) today. Three gunmen are dead, police said. 

Senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh said all 21 Chinese diplomats and staff at the consulate were safe and were not harmed during the assault or the shootout.

The attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist insurgent group that branded Beijing ‘an oppressor’ and opposes Chinese exploitation of natural resources in the resource-rich southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan.

Pakistani ambulance volunteers transport a dead body in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi today

Pakistani security personnel stand next to burned out vehicles in front of the  consulate after an attack in Karachi this morning

Pakistani security personnel stand next to burned out vehicles in front of the consulate after an attack in Karachi this morning

Smoke rising from the Chinese consulate after an attack by gunmen in Karachi, Pakistan. Witnesses reported gunshots

Smoke rising from the Chinese consulate after an attack by gunmen in Karachi, Pakistan. Witnesses reported gunshots

Members of the bomb disposal unit, checking the exlosives recovered from a bag, after an attack on the Chinese consulate 

Members of the bomb disposal unit, checking the exlosives recovered from a bag, after an attack on the Chinese consulate 

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.

‘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.

Pakistani ambulance volunteers transport a dead body in front of the Chinese consulate after the attack today

Pakistani ambulance volunteers transport a dead body in front of the Chinese consulate after the attack today

A bomb disposal squad member checks a bag belonging to an attacker outside the Chinese consulate after the attack 

A bomb disposal squad member checks a bag belonging to an attacker outside the Chinese consulate after the attack 

Paramilitary forces and police take cover behind a wall during an attack on the consulate

Paramilitary forces and police take cover behind a wall during an attack on the consulate

Paramilitary soldiers take cover behind a wall during an attack on the Chinese embassy, where blasts and shots are heard

Paramilitary soldiers take cover behind a wall during an attack on the Chinese embassy, where blasts and shots are heard

Aftermath: Pakistani security personnel work in the compound of the building

Aftermath: Pakistani security personnel work in the compound of the building

‘We have completed the operation, and a search is still under way to trace and capture all suspects,’ he added

Mr Sheikh said one of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest that did not detonate. 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.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has ‘strongly condemned’ the attack in a statement, saying he has ordered an investigation. 

He described the assault as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan and China’s economic and strategic cooperation. 

A Pakistani police commando walks past a burned out vehicle outside the consulate after the attack

A Pakistani police commando walks past a burned out vehicle outside the consulate after the attack

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

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

Pakistani troops arrive at the Chinese Consulate. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has 'strongly condemned' the attack in a statement, saying he has ordered an investigation

Pakistani troops arrive at the Chinese Consulate. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has ‘strongly condemned’ the attack in a statement, saying he has ordered an investigation

The attackers killed two police officers and stormed the building in the southern port city in Pakistan, leading to an intense shootout at about 9:30am local time

The attackers killed two police officers and stormed the building in the southern port city in Pakistan, leading to an intense shootout at about 9:30am local time

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed such incidents would never be able to undermine Pakistan's relations with China

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed such incidents would never be able to undermine Pakistan’s relations with China

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

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

The consulate is located in the affluent Clifton neighbourhood, along with those of several other nations. 

Khan vowed that such incidents would never be able to undermine Pakistan’s relations with China, which are ‘mightier than the Himalayas and deeper than the Arabian Sea.’

Beijing ‘strongly condemned’ the attack and asked Pakistan to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in the country.

‘China strongly condemns violent attacks against diplomatic agencies and requests that Pakistan takes practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and organisations in the country,’ Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

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.

A paramilitary soldier walks past the wreckages of cars after the attack on the Chinese consulate. China is a long-time ally and has invested heavily in transport projects in Pakistan

A paramilitary soldier walks past the wreckages of cars after the attack on the Chinese consulate. China is a long-time ally and has invested heavily in transport projects in Pakistan

Volunteers wait outside the Chinese Consulate after an attack in Karachi

Volunteers wait outside the Chinese Consulate after an attack in Karachi

Beijing 'strongly condemned' the attack and asked Pakistan to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens

Beijing ‘strongly condemned’ the attack and asked Pakistan to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens

The consulate is located in the affluent Clifton neighbourhood, along with those of several other nations

The consulate is located in the affluent Clifton neighbourhood, along with those of several other nations

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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