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The Latest: Pakistan’s death toll from market bombing now 35

Security officials gather outside the compound of the Chinese Consulate following an attack, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in Karachi, Pakistan,. Gunmen have stormed the Chinese Consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, triggering an intense shootout during which two police officers and all three assailants were killed. (AP Photo)

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

3:55 p.m.

Pakistani police say the death toll from a bombing at an open-air market in the country’s northwest has risen further and is now at 35.

The attack came just a couple of hours after armed separatists stormed the Chinese Consulate in the southern port city of Karachi on Friday.

Local police official Tahir Ali says that along with the 35 killed, dozens of people were also wounded in the attack in the town of Klaya in Orakzai region in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

He says most of the casualties were minority Shiite Muslims.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the bombing, saying it was an “act of terrorism.”

Khan vowed to take measures to trace those linked to the attacks in Orakzai and in Karachi.

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1:40 p.m.

India’s foreign ministry has condemned the attack on the Chinese Consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, saying that “there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.”

The attack on Friday was claimed by Baluch separatists, a militant group from Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province. Two Pakistani consulate guards as well as two civilians, a father and a son who had gone t the consulate to seek visas to China, were killed in the attack.

The statement from New Delhi says the “perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously.”

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

Pakistan has long accused New Delhi of supporting Baluch separatists. The two countries have a history of bitter relations and have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region of Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

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1:30 p.m.

China has asked Pakistan to beef up security after armed gunmen tried to storm the Chinese Consulate in Karachi.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in Beijing on Friday that China would not waver in its commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and expressed confidence that Pakistan could ensure security of its citizens.

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

The three attackers and two police officers were killed in an intense shootout. A separatist group from Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is fighting “Chinese occupation.”

Geng confirmed that all Chinese staff were safe. He said the gunmen did not get into the consulate, and the exchange of fire took place outside.

He expressed sympathy for the killed police officers and said that China strongly condemns violent attacks on diplomatic missions

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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