At least three terrorists were killed after an exchange of fire with security personnel near the Chinese consulate at Karachi in Pakistan on Friday morning. Two policemen were also killed in the attack which began with a loud explosion near the Chinese consulate at around 9:30 am. After the explosion, the terrorists opened fire and attempted to enter the consulate building in the heavily-guarded red zone in the Clifton area.
Geo TV broadcast images of a plume of smoke billowing into the air, apparently from the blast earlier. Several other media reported gunfire by the consulate.
According to a defence contractor who provides armed guards to the Chinese consulate, the attackers attempted to enter the consulate building after killing the two policemen. "They proceeded towards the gate of the consulate. However, the guards quickly closed the gate, civilians with consular business were ushered inside and the Chinese staff were taken to a safe location," Ikram Sehgal, the contractor, told DawnNewsTV as quoted by India Today.
Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility as forces successfully foiled the attack, Karachi Police Chief Amir Shaikh said. Nine hand grenades, Kalashnikov bullets, magazines and explosives were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, Geo news quoted police officials as saying. “Food supplies and medicines were also recovered from their possession,” officials said.
“We have received two dead bodies of policemen and an injured Chinese security guard who is under treatment,” said Seemi Jamali, the executive director at Jinnah Hospital.
The Bilawal House of Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is also in the area. Schools and eateries have been locked down until a clearance operation is concluded. Residents said they first heard firing and explosions around 9.30 AM (local time). “The terrorists first attacked the checkpost outside the consulate and detonated a hand grenade in the area,” Shaikh said. Shaikh said the attackers had parked their vehicle at some distance from the consulate before moving towards it.
Condemning the attack, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement that read, "India strongly condemns terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. We condole 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."
India strongly condemns terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. We condole 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:MEA— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2018
(With agency inputs)