Chinese Consulate in Karachi Attacked
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Chinese Consulate in Karachi Attacked

By IndraStra Global News Team

Chinese Consulate in Karachi Attacked

Image Attribute: Three Baloch insurgents, two policemen and two civilians killed in an attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi, November 23, 2018. 

On November 23, 2018, at about 09:30 local time (04:30 GMT), the Chinese consulate in the upmarket E-Street in Clifton area of Karachi was attacked by three gunmen-cum-suicide bombers. 

After an hour-long exchange of fire, all three attackers were killed before they were able to enter the compound and a clearance operation was conducted by security forces and the Bomb Disposal Squad to ensure the area was secure. In the attack, two police officers and two Pakistani visa applicants were also killed.

"The situation is under control now, there were three attackers and all three have been killed... They could not even get in the compound. They tried to get into the visa section," Karachi Police Chief Amir Shaikh told reporters.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an inquiry into the attack, calling it a "conspiracy" against the strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Zhao Lijian, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has issued a statement  - "Chinese Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack against Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi on November 23. Any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan relationship is doomed to fail".

Statement on the Terrorist Attack against Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi

A separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), said it carried out the attack. It is one of a number of separatist groups operating in the restive province, which has seen a long-running nationalist insurgency.

"There were three suicide attackers," Jiand Baloch told Reuters by telephone. "They stormed the Chinese Embassy in Karachi. China is exploiting our resources."

A different spokesman, told AFP by telephone, "We have carried out this attack and our action is continuing."

The attack is being considered as the most prominent one (inside Pakistan) against neighbor and ally China, which is pouring billions of dollars into the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of its Belt and Road initiative (BRI). And, the Balochistan is at the heart of that project, linking China's western Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Pakistan.

United States Chargé d'Affaires (CdA) Ambassador Paul Jones, in a tweet shared by the US Embassy in Islamabad, said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi".

India's Ministry of External Affairs also shared a statement on Twitter by spokesman Raveesh Kumar saying: “We condole the loss of lives in this dastardly attack. There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously.”

Meanwhile, at least 27 people were killed and up to 55 wounded when a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables ripped through a crowded marketplace in Pakistan's northwest. The blast occurred in a mostly Shia neighborhood in Orakzai district. Police say a suicide bomber on a motorbike drove into a crowded marketplace.  No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

With reporting by AFP, AP, Dawn, RFE/RL, and Reuters