China condemns car bombing at embassy in Kyrgyzstan

By Yang Sheng and Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/31 0:33:39

Security threats on rise for China diplomatic outposts as overseas interests grow


Kyrgyz police officers gather outside the Chinese embassy in Bishkek on Sunday after a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded inside the embassy, wounding five people. Photo: AFP



 



 

China on Tuesday strongly condemned a suicide car bombing at the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, an attack seen by security analysts as a worrying sign of growing security threats against overseas Chinese diplomatic outposts.

"China is shocked and strongly condemns this serious terror attack," China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

She said China has urged Kyrgyzstan to take immediate and necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese people and institutions in Kyrgyzstan, and to investigate the car bombing and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The attack took place at around 10 am local time when the unidentified assailant drove a vehicle deliberately into the gate of the Chinese embassy. Two security guards and three people employed by the embassy were injured in the attack, in which the suspect also died, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Bishkek-based AKIpress News Agency reported that a Nissan Delica broke into the Chinese Embassy premises through the western gates and exploded in the center of the territory in front of the Ambassador's Residence. It said several buildings were damaged and the fragments of the car were thrown some 200 meters from the blast.

A vice consular official at the Chinese embassy in Bishkek told the Global Times Tuesday afternoon that they were busy "dealing with the aftermath." He refused to reveal more details as embassy employees were being evacuated.

According to the BBC, staff from the nearby US embassy was also evacuated. 

Xinhua reported that Kyrgyz police cordoned off the embassy and the neighboring area after the suicide attack.

Separatists suspected

"This is the first car bombing aimed specifically against overseas Chinese diplomatic outposts, and the Turkistan Islamic Party, a branch of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, is highly suspected of carrying out the attack," Li Wei, an expert on counter-terrorism at the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

So far, authorities have not identified the suspects behind the attack.

It is not the first time Chinese citizens were targeted in terror attacks in Kyrgyzstan. In 2002, Wang Jianping, a Chinese diplomat, was shot dead in a car by Uyghur separatists in Bishkek.

Yao Peisheng, former Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan from 1995 to 1998, said that after that incident the Kyrgyz government assigned more security to protect Chinese diplomats.

Pan Zhiping, a research fellow at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, recommended overseas embassies should follow the US in anti-terrorism tactics at their overseas missions, which includes concrete blocks that prevent cars from ramming embassy gates. 

Both Pan and Yao stressed that counter-terrorism and protection for China's overseas interests are becoming increasingly significant and difficult.

"After the US withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan, various terrorist movements in the region are becoming more frequent and it also spilled over to other countries like Kyrgyzstan," Pan said.

Li said Kyrgyzstan's counter-terrorism capability is weaker than other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its domestic security situation is also worse. 

"There are various terrorist groups in this country. Domestically it has the Kyrgyz Islamic Movement and Jundal-Khilafah within the country; internationally, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are coming from outside," Li said, so in the future, based on mutual respect in objective needs, China can promote bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation with Kyrgyzstan.

China is the second-largest investor in Kyrgyzstan after Russia, based on figures from 2015, Xinhua reported. Due to the "Belt and Road" initiative, it is expected that more Chinese enterprises and personnel will be based in Kyrgyzstan.

Timeline

2016/8/31 8:51
Singapore condemns attack on Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan
Singapore on Tuesday condemned the attack on the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


2016/8/31  8:42
France expresses solidarity with China after Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan attacked
France on Tuesday expressed solidarity with China after an attack hit the Chinese Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, the French Foreign Ministry said.

2016/8/31 8:40
Kyrgyzstan vows to punish those responsible for terror attack on Chinese embassy

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Erlan Abdyldaev, on Tuesday discussed in a phone conversation the terrorist attack against the Chinese Embassy to Kyrgyzstan and pledged closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

2016/8/31 8:32
Kyrgyzstan's intelligence agency initiates investigation into attack on Chinese Embassy
The State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan, an intelligence agency, has initiated a criminal investigation into the attack targeting the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek, the press service of the agency said on Tuesday.

2016/8/30 18:00
Kyrgyz police extract DNA sample to identify assailant: Xinhua
Police are extracting a DNA sample to help identify the perpetrator of the attack on the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Xinhua reported, citing Kyrgyz authorities.

2016/8/30 16:30
A lone assailant was killed and five others were wounded in the powerful explosion.

2016/8/30 16:08
China strongly condemns the deeply shocking car bomb attack at the Chinese embassy in Bishkek: FM spokeswoman

2016/8/30 14:06
Driver killed in car blast at Chinese embassy in Bishkek a "terrorist"; 3 embassy staff injured: Kyrgyz Deputy PM (People's Daily)

2016/8/30 13: 25
3 wounded in car explosion near Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan
A Kyrgyz senior security officer told Xinhua that it was a suicide car bombing attack, in which the driver tried to ram the gate of the embassy compound.

The incident left three people injured, but their identities and nationalities are yet to be determined, a Kyrgyz senior security officer told Xinhua.

2016/8/30 13: 20
Explosion heard in Kyrgyzstan's capital

An explosion was heard in Kyrgyzstan's capital of Bishkek on Tuesday, local media reported. And ambulance cars and law enforcement officers had already been sent to the scene.


Newspaper headline: FM condemns car bombing at embassy in Kyrgyzstan


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