Two policemen killed as gunmen attack Chinese consulate in Pakistan's Karachi


Three suicide attackers stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi amid a series of gunshots and an explosion on Friday, but were killed before they could get into the building in a auto packed with explosives, police said.

"The Prime Minister has ordered a complete inquiry into the incident and has desired that elements behind this incident must be unearthed", Mr Khan's office said in a statement, adding that the attack was part of a conspiracy aimed at undermining economic and strategic cooperation between the two nations.

In the meantime, the Karachi Police Chief Dr. Amir Shaikh has told media that the attackers were likely armed with suicide bombing vests. Several other media reported gunfire by the consulate. At least two policemen were shot dead in the attack and a security guard was wounded.

The attack was claimed by a separatist militant group from Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, which is at the centre of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the major Chinese project in the country. The consulate's diplomats and staff were unhurt and were evacuated to a safe place, senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh said.

Residents said they first heard firing and explosions around 9.30 AM (local time).

Geo TV broadcast images of a plume of smoke billowing into the air, apparently from the blast earlier.

Police officials said the attackers fired weapons close to the consulate before hurling a hand grenade.

The failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China.

China is estimated to have spent some US$62 billion on projects in Pakistan, mostly in Balochistan.

An armed separatist group that opposes China's economic presence in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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The port city of Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and a financial hub.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the assault.

He added: "All three terrorists are killed".

Two civilians, a father and a son who had come from Quetta for visas, were also killed.

The hospital later said at a news briefing the attack was over.

Aslam alias Achu is a commander of proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), who is being treated at Max Hospital in the Indian capital, sources told Express News on Friday.

In a letter dated August 15, the group released a letter warning China against the "exploitation of Baluchistan's mineral wealth and occupation of Baluch territory". The suspects, which are yet to be identified, tried to enter into the Consulate and opened fire.

A suicide jacket, arms and ammunition were recovered from the attackers. Resident there allege that the Chinese-led expansion of the port has stripped Baloch fishermen of their livelihoods, pushed them out of the homes and siphoned off their water supply.

Islamabad regularly accuses its eastern neighbour India of funding and arming Baloch separatists, and of targeting development projects in the province, particularly CPEC.