Pakistan minister says Chinese staff ‘all safe’ after attack on consulate

Mikhail Svetlov  Getty Images Chinese President Xi Jinping

Local media reported that the injured had reached Jinnah hospital. The region has also been marked by tension between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and the blast was near a Shiite mosque that may have been the target.

"The failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China", Khan said on Twitter.

The Pakistani military has been targeting insurgencies in the province since 2004, and has been repeatedly accused by global rights groups of abuses there.

"The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously", the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It also added that "such terrorist attacks only strengthen the resolve of the global community to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations".

This was the second attack this year by Baluch separatists in Pakistan.

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".

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Soon after the attack, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the foreign minister of Pakistan, condemned the incident.

He declined to comment on the identity or motive of the attackers.

When commenting on the deadly attack, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said it was a "conspiracy" against China-Pakistan strategic cooperation and ordered an inquiry into it. He further confirmed the deaths of 2 policemen in an exchange of fire.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned both the attacks in separate statements. It quoted Yi as saying that the attack was an attempt to impact Pakistan China relations and to harm the two countries' economic pact. CNN does not have independent confirmation of the group's involvement.

"However, such incidents will never be able to undermine the Pakistan-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya and deeper than Arabian sea".

One of their tweets claiming the attack read: "Karachi: FIdayeen of BLA attacked the Chinese embassy in Karachi".

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Suhai Aziz Talpur added another feather to her cap on Friday when she led a crucial operation, foiling a terror attack near Chinese Consulate in Karachi's Clifton.

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INSKEEP: Oh, so they feel that they are basically victims of an imperial force - that there's even more strong crackdowns on the Baloch activists just because the Chinese demand it.

The militants told local media that Friday's attack is a warning to China.

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.

The port city of Karachi, where the attack took place, is Pakistan's largest city and a financial hub.

The Taliban, who are waging a war to oust the Western-backed Afghan government and expel foreign forces, have launched a series of high-profile attacks against Afghan security forces in recent weeks.

According to Pakistani authorities, at least four people-two civilians and two policeman-were killed by a group of three armed insurgents with suicide vests.

Mohammad Ashfaq, a local police chief, said the attackers stormed the consulate, which is also the residence of Chinese diplomats and other staff.

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The attack was claimed by a separatist militant group from southwestern Balochistan, which is at the center of the CPEC, the major Chinese project in the country.

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