KARACHI, Pakistan | The Latest: Death toll in Pakistan bombing rises to 25

KARACHI, Pakistan — The Latest on the attack on the Chinese Consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi (all times local):

1:20 p.m.
Pakistani police say the death toll from a bombing at an open-air food market in the country’s northwest has risen to 25.

The attack on Friday took place in the town of Klaya, in the Orakzai region of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan. It happened just a couple of hours after armed separatists stormed the Chinese Consulate in the southern port city of Karachi.

Local police official Tahir Ali says that the death toll from the market bombing now stands at 25 people, and that most of the victims are minority Shiite Muslims.

Orakzai has been the scene of militant attacks in recent years, mostly claimed by Pakistani Sunni militants.


12:20 p.m.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has “strongly condemned” the attack on the Chinese Consulate in the country’s southern port city of Karachi, in which two police officers and all the three assailants were killed.

Khan issued a statement, saying he has ordered a probe into Friday’s attack. He described the assault as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan and China’s economic and strategic cooperation.

Pakistani separatists from the southwestern Baluchistan province claimed the consulate attack.

Khan vowed in his statement that such incidents would never be able to undermine Pakistan’s relations with China, which are “mightier than the Himalayas and deeper than the Arabian Sea.”

Khan lauded the Karachi police and the paramilitary ranger forces, saying they showed exceptional courage in defending the consulate and that the “nation salutes the martyrs.”


12: 10 p.m.
Pakistani police say a powerful bomb at an open-air food market in the country’s northwest has killed at least 12 people, an attack just hours after armed separatists stormed the Chinese Consulate in the southern port city of Karachi.

Local police official Tahir Ali says the market attack took place in the town of Klaya, in the Orakzai region of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

He said most of the victims were minority Shiite Muslims. More than 50 were wounded in the attack, some critically, triggering fears the death toll could rise further,

Ali says the tragedy has prompted local authorities to declare an emergency at the region’s hospitals to handle the situation. Orakzai has been the scene of militant attacks in recent years, mostly claimed by Pakistani Sunni militants.


11:50 a.m.
Pakistan’s foreign minister says Pakistani security forces have foiled an attempt by militants to spread terror in attacking the Chinese Consulate in the southern port city of Karachi.

Shah Mahmood Quershi described Friday’s attack as a “conspiracy” against Pakistan and China, its longtime ally and friend. He blamed the “enemy of Pakistan” for the attack.

He told reporters in the capital, Islamabad, that all the Chinese diplomats and staff members have been taken to a “safe place” following the attack.

He says he has been in touch with them and that he will phone his Chinese counterpart to inform him in detail about the “successful operation in which Pakistani security forces sacrifices their lives to foil the conspiracy.”


11:35 a.m.
Pakistani officials say three gunmen who stormed the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi are dead, after an intense shootout during which two police officers were killed by the attackers.

Senior police official Ameer Ahmad Sheikh says all the Chinese diplomats and staff at the consulate were safe and were not harmed during the assault or the shootout onFriday.

The Baluch Liberation Army, a separatist group based in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, claimed responsibility for the attack and released photos of the three attackers.

Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, has a militant presence.


10:35 a.m.
Pakistani police say gunmen have stormed the Chinese Consulate in the country’s southern port city of Karachi, triggering an intense shootout during which two police officers were killed.

Smoke is rising from the building as the shootout continues.

Mohammad Ashfaq, a local police chief, says more than two attackers stormed the consulate on Friday. He says security forces have surrounded the area. Local TV shows smoke rising from the building, which is also the residence of Chinese diplomats and other staff.

Authorities say the attackers first opened fire at consulate guards and then managed to breach the main gate and enter the building.
Ashfaq says security forces are trying to bring the situation under control but the shootout continues. Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, has a militant presence.

By Associated Press