Chinese consulate in Karachi attacked by gunmen, 3 terrorists, 2 policemen killed

A map of the area

An exchange of fire resulted "killing two of our constables and critically wounding another", he said.

Over the border in eastern Afghanistan, a suicide blast at a mosque on an army base killed at least 26 people and wounded 50, security officials said.

All of the consulate staff are safe, China's foreign ministry said Friday.

Director of the Jinnah Hospital Karachi Seemi Jamali told media that overall five bodies and one injured have been shifted to the hospital.

The gunfire could be heard from several kilometres away, and witnesses on social media posted photos of smoke rising into the air.

Talking to our Karachi correspondent Altaf Pirzado on phone SSP south Karachi Pir Mohammad Shah said terrorists who fired at Chinese Consulate has been engaged by police and their effort to enter into the consulate has been foiled.

Chinese nationals in Karachi generally consider it a safe city to move around, carrying out their day-to-day business.

CPEC, a $64-billion megaproject signed in 2014, aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Pakistan's Gwadar Port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

So far this year, the Baluch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for 12 attacks against security personnel guarding projects linked to the so-called Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor as well as to the infrastructure.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an inquiry into the attack. The Financial Times reported that "Beijing had been in direct contact with militants in the south-western state of Baluchistan".

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During Khan's visit, Xi said that China was "willing to work with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era".

All three were reportedly killed.

The Chinese consulate is located in Karachi's upscale Clifton area.

The attack on Friday was claimed by Baluch separatists, a militant group from Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province.

"There were three suicide attackers", Jiand Baloch of the BLA said.

Police officials said two officers were killed, along with a father and son from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, who were seeking Chinese visas and were caught in the crossfire.

Three suicide bombers approached the consulate in a vehicle filled with explosives, but failed to get inside the heavily fortified compound, the Karachi police chief said.

Friday's attack was an uptick in the level of violence perpetrated by the Baluch separatist, said Amir Rana, executive director of the independent Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies. A spokesman for the group explained the attack by saying that "China is exploiting our resources".

Participating in the CPEC presents an enormous challenge for Pakistan, a country plagued by weak institutions, endemic corruption, and insurgencies in the regions that would host the corridor.

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