Pakistan terror attacks: Chinese consulate stormed, 12 dead at market

Pakistan terror attacks: Chinese consulate stormed, 12 dead at market

Pakistan terror attacks: Chinese consulate stormed, 12 dead at market

Pakistani security forces stopped an attempted terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on Friday morning (Nov 23), officials said, after an extended gun-battle outside a security checkpoint.

Three attackers were killed by the police in an exchange of gunfire, the BBC said.

"We highly appreciate the great efforts made by Pakistan to safeguard the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the security of Chinese citizens and organisations in Pakistan", Geng said. Two officers and all 3 attackers died.

The attack on China's consulate in Karachi was claimed by the insurgent Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which opposes Chinese projects linked to its Belt and Road Initiative in resource-rich Balochistan.

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

Pakistani TV shows smoke billowing into the air from the blast.

The security of the consulate has also been beefed up, Pakistan media reports said.

Raffaello Pantucci, director of worldwide security studies at the London-based Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, said the attack was "reflective of a growing China focus by the BLA".

The corridor is a collection of roads, railway lines and infrastructure projects created to connect Western China to Pakistan's port city Gwadar, significantly cutting transport times for Chinese goods shipped to Middle East or Europe.

Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, and it is confronted with ethnic, sectarian, and separatist insurgencies.

Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an inquiry into the incident, according to a statement released by his office.

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China has funded development of a deepwater port at Gwadar in south Baluchistan, and is also investing in other projects on a China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

All three were reportedly killed.

"There were three suicide attackers", Jiand Baloch told Reuters by telephone.

Security was immediately ramped up at consulates all over Karachi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismael told CNN.

A Pakistani father and his son, two police officers, and the attackers were killed.

Shaikh said the attackers had parked their vehicle at some distance from the consulate before moving towards it.

China has poured billions into Pakistan, and thousands of Chinese nationals visit the country to work on CPEC projects or other business ventures.

After a BLA attack on a bus carrying Chinese engineers in August, one of the militant group's leaders warned that if Beijing continues "exploiting" the resources of Balochistan, it should be prepared for more attacks.

Two policemen were martyred and a security guard injured as three gunmen tried to enter the consulate.

The military denies the claims, saying the BLA has killed Pakistani laborers in cold blood and conducted terrorist operations to destabilize the state.

Pakistani police say the death toll from a bombing at an open-air food market in the country's northwest has risen to 25.

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