China has denounced a terrorist attack on the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Karachi today that has left two Pakistani police officers and two visa applicants dead. The attack involved three suicide bombers, according to state media.
“China strongly condemns any violent attacks against diplomatic agencies and urges Pakistan to take practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country,” said a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, at a media appearance today.
Image via @微天下 /Weibo
According to CGTN, all Chinese staffers at the consulate, as well as their families, are safe and accounted for.
Imran Khan, the prime minster of Pakistan, has offered his condolences to the Chinese consulate, while Geng sent sympathies to the two dead Pakistani law enforcement officers and their families.
According to numerous media outlets, the attack was carried out by a separatist group predominantly based in Pakistan’s Balochistan province known as the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The BLA has claimed responsibility for the attack, which reportedly involved three suicide bombers – all of whom were killed before they were able to enter the Chinese consulate.
Both gunshots and explosions, allegedly from grenades tossed by the attackers, were reported near the Chinese diplomatic outpost.
“There were three attackers and all three have been killed,” said Dr. Amir Shaikh, the police chief of Karachi, according to CGTN. “They could not even get in the compound.”
In total, seven are dead as a result of the attack: the three attackers, two policemen and a father and son from the city of Quetta who were applying for Chinese visas. Another Pakistani police officer was wounded and has been transported to hospital.
Image via @财新网 /Weibo
In response, a “large number of police and commandos” have been sent to the area the attack took place and the street leading to China’s consulate in Karachi has been blocked, according to CCTV.
Karachi is a coastal city in southern Pakistan and the most populous city in the country.
[Cover image via @社会与法频道阎肃 /Weibo]