Two policemen were killed in firing outside the Chinese Consulate in Karachi's Clifton, said South SSP Pir Muhammad Shah. Two civilians, a father and son, were also killed when the attackers opened fire.
All three attackers have been killed in the crossfire. One was a suicide bomber and a vest was found in his possession. Weapons have also been seized. One policeman is injured. They have been taken to Jinnah hospital. Army and Rangers have entered the consulate.
The BLA has claimed responsibility for the attack. One of the attackers has been identified as Abdur Razzak, in a report presented to the chief minister.
The Rangers say that their snipers shot two of the attackers. They have cleared the consulate. The bomb disposal squad is also on the scene.
Seven bodies were brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre -- three attackers, two policemen and two civilians. According to JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali, the police officers have been identified as Mohammad Ashraf and Aamir. She said a wounded security guard, Mohammad Jaman, was also brought to the hospital and is being treated. The father and son have been identified as Mohammad Zahir and Niaz. They were at the consulate to obtain information on visas.
Speaking to the media, DIG South Javed Odho said despite conflicting reports, police officials on the scene say there were just three attackers. If there is a fourth attacker we will find him, said the police officer. The police are currently sweeping the surrounding area.
All staff and officials of the consulate are safe. Guards locked 12 staff of the immigration department inside a big room. Six visa applicants, including four women and a child, were locked in a separate room. They locked the Chinese Consulate staff in safe room.
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A heavy contingent of police and Rangers have been deployed at the scene and have sealed the area. Traffic has been stopped. The consulate is located on Saba Avenue in Clifton Block 4. Also nearby are the Embassy of Kuwait, several schools, offices and restaurants. Bilawal House is also nearby, as is the Russian Consulate. Due to the presence of the consulates, there is generally a lot of security in this area and a lot of CCTV cameras.
The firing began at the visa section of the consulate at around 9:30am. Consulate guards returned the fire.
I can't describe what it was like to watch this... and realize that the person who took it... was my father from his bedroom window. Just called home, he's safe. https://t.co/511AmpjpvQ
— Natasha Japanwala (@NatJapanwala) November 23, 2018
The Sindh IG and Governor Imran Ismail have summoned reports on the incident from the South DIG. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah called the consul general and assured him that everything would be alright.
Rangers and police combined operation is in process, I salute to 2 officers who died in the process. No terrorist will be able to destroy the law & order situation Inshallah we have our full trust in our LEA’s after Allah.
— Imran Ismail (@ImranIsmailPTI) November 23, 2018
Security at the consulate has been increased.
The attackers are still outside the consulate and an operation is still under way. All the lanes surrounding the consulate have been sealed. People have been barred from entering the area. The South SSP is leading the operation himself and says they are closer to controlling the situation.
Related: Attack on Chinese Consulate will not damage Pak-China friendship: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Schools nearby are locked down. One school has sealed its gates and told parents that no one will be allowed to enter or exit the premises. "A child leaving the gate every two seconds is a huge security hazard. Having children on the road right now is not a good idea," said the school administration in a message to parents.
The attack drew condemnation from many quarters. The Foreign Office tweeted a condemnation
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi." --Ambassador Paul Jones, Chargé d'affaires a.i. #USinPAK #USPAK #USEmbISB #AmbJones pic.twitter.com/GPtqBwNIqY
— US Embassy Islamabad (@usembislamabad) November 23, 2018
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@DrMFaisal) November 23, 2018
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also addressed a press conference on the attack in Islamabad. He said it would not damage Pakistan's relationship with China.