Explosions & shots reported near Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan

Multiple explosions, gunshots fired near Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pakistan

Gunmen stormed the Chinese consulate in Pakistan's port city of Karachi on Friday, killing at least two policeman in an attack claimed by a militant group in Balochistan province.

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

One gunman was reported to have been shot and killed while wearing a suicide vest, which didn't explode.

The Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked Friday by armed assailants.

Seemin Jamali, a doctor at the Jinnah Hospital in Karachi, said: "We have two cops brought dead and security guard injured due to blast impact". The consulate's diplomats and staff were unhurt and were evacuated to a safe place, senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh said.

He said the area is surrounded by schools, and that parents were being turned away by school staff because of the gunfire and explosions, but otherwise there were "no other signs of panic". Footage broadcast on TV showed smoke rising from the Chinese Consulate building.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan "strongly condemned" the attack on the Chinese Consulate.

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

"China appreciates the measures taken by Pakistan to safeguard the CPEC, Chinese citizens and institutions".

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After the attack, Twitter suspended an account that the Balochistan Liberation Army had also used to issue its claim.

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".

He added: "All three terrorists are killed".

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

The group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"There have been no casualties among the Chinese, or our guards, or among the visa applicants, since they managed to get inside", said Ikram Sehgal, whose company, Security Management Services, guards the consulate.

"We have been seeing the Chinese as an oppressor, along with Pakistani forces", the spokesman for the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Geand Baloch, told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location, adding they were "destroying the future of Balochistan".

Shaikh said the attackers had parked their vehicle at some distance from the consulate before moving towards it. "China is exploiting our resources".

The USD 60 billion CPEC is a string of huge infrastructure investments by China in Pakistan which will link its western Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan. China, which calls Pakistan as its all-weather friend, has invested in several projects in the country and is now developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) worth $50 billion. He said a suicide jacket, arms and ammunition have been recovered from the attackers.

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