KARACHI: Security forces on Friday staved off a brazen terrorist attempt to storm the Chinese consulate located in the upscale Clifton neighbourhood of Karachi. Four people – including two police officials – were martyred before all the three terrorists were taken down by security forces. The diplomatic staff inside the consulate remained unhurt.
The threat was neutralised within an hour as the terrorists – armed with machine guns, suicide vests and hand grenades – were killed by law enforcers. However, two of the three policemen manning a check-post at the consulate gate were martyred while fighting off the assault.
Map of the area.
A man and his son, who were there to obtain their visas, were also killed by the terrorists.
According to officials, the terrorists came in a white car, walked up to the check-post and opened random fire. They also lobbed hand grenades, triggering a fire on the cars parked there and sending panicked passers-by running for their lives.
Security forces take cover behind a guard post. – Photo: REUTERS
The police officials at the check-post engaged the terrorists in a gunfight which resulted in the death of one of the attackers and two police officials. The remaining two attackers, while trying to find a way to enter the consulate, ran towards the visa section where visa applicants Niaz Muhammad and his son Zahid Shah, who had come to Karachi from Quetta, were killed by them.
Heavy contingents of LEAs reached the site and took positions in a bungalow in front of the consulate and an under-construction building nearby.
The operation continued for an hour during which the security forces killed the remaining two terrorists in the visa section of the consulate.
Security personnel stand next to burned out vehicles in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack. -Photo: AFP
Additional Inspector General of Police Karachi Dr Amir Sheikh told the media that terrorists came to the consulate in a white Suzuki Liana (AKS-973).
“Police have taken the car into custody,” said AIG Sheikh. “Arms and explosives recovered from this car are being examined.”
The AIG also said that one of the terrorists was wearing a suicide jacket, adding that more arms and hand grenades were recovered on the slain terrorists.
“The consul general and other staff of the consulate are safe as the terrorists could not enter the building,” he said, adding that as the terrorists started their onslaught, the armoured vehicle was not available and as soon as it arrived, it was immediately deployed in the operation.
Smoke rises after the attack: EXPRESS
According to the Rangers, their snipers killed the two terrorists. They also carried out a clearance operation at the consulate.
SSP South Pir Muhammad Shah said police officers reached the site immediately after receiving information about the attack. “Police officials Muhammd Amir Khan and ASI Ashraf Dawood have been martyred in the terrorist attack.”
The bomb disposal squad said the terrorists were carrying detonators in a bag, which could have been used to detonate the suicide vest.
After the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, IG Dr Kalim Imam and other high-ups reached at the scene to review the situation.
“Evidence has been collected and investigation is under way. CCTV footage of all the cameras installed along the road leading to the Chinese consulate is being collected to determine which route the terrorists used to reach the consulate,” they said, adding that the identity of the terrorists with the help of their fingerprints had been ascertained.
According to the police, nine hand grenades, SMGs, 5.5kg explosive material, more than 70 bullets and first aid kits had been recovered from the killed terrorists, who had used at least 19 hand grenades in the attack.
According to the police, no mobile phone was recovered from the terrorists.
SSP Shah told the media that the terrorists were hurling a hand grenade every five minutes, but they could not enter the consulate because of the timely action by the police and the Rangers. “All the terrorists were killed in action that lasted for one hour,” said the police.
The purpose of the terrorists, who had brought with them modern arms, ammunition, hand grenades, explosive material, first aid things, etc, was to inflict larger damage, according to the police.