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Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 20:30

1 dies in blast off Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan

By Xinhua & Agencies

1 dies in blast off Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan
A Kyrgyz police officer gestures outside gates to the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Aug 30, 2016. A suspected suicide bomber on Tuesday crashed a car through the entrance of the Chinese Embassy, detonating a bomb that killed the attacker and wounded embassy employees. (AP Photo/ Vladimir Voronin)
BISHKEK/BEIJING – A suspected suicide bomber on Tuesday crashed a car through the entrance of the Chinese Embassy in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek, detonating a bomb that killed the attacker and wounded five people embassy employees.

China's foreign ministry condemned the attack, calling it an "extreme and violent attack".

The Central Asian nation's interior ministry says the person who drove the vehicle through the gate died when the bomb detonated. Xinhua reports two security guards and three Kyrgyz nationals working at the embassy were wounded.

The Kyrgyz nationals injured in the attack are two 17-year-old embassy gardeners and an unidentified woman.

Almaz Kubatbekov, chief physician at the Bishkek National Trauma and Orthopedics Institute, said the three victims suffered concussions and multiple bruises.

Photos from the scene showed the inner courtyard of the embassy compound littered with debris. Windows of one building were smashed and the plastered walls pockmarked with shrapnel.

Acording to Xinhua, the unidentified assailant drove a Mitsubishi car and parked at the west gate of the Chinese embassy at 9:28 am local time (0328 GMT). At 9:31 am (0331 GMT), another car arrived at the same place and parked there. The relation between the two cars is yet to be established.

At 9:32 am (0332 GMT), the explosive-laden car started ramming the embassy door and powerfully exploded inside the embassy, killing the assailant and wounding two security guards and three local people working at the embassy. The explosion is equivalent to 100 kg of TNT.

1 dies in blast off Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan

The Kyrgyz interior ministry described it as a terrorist attack. Deputy Prime Minister Zhenish Razakov in comments to the Interfax news agency called it a suicide bombing.

A Kyrgyz news website, Kloop.kg, quoted Razakov as saying that he would lead a meeting Tuesday on tightening security ahead of Kyrgyz Independence Day on Wednesday and a summit of former Soviet nations in mid-September.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for a stern security response.

"China is appalled and strongly condemns the violent act," Hua told reporters at a daily briefing.

She said China's foreign ministry has "demanded that Kyrgyz authorities take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Kyrgyzstan, launch a thorough investigation to find out the truth of the incident and harshly punish the perpetrators."

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has ordered a thorough investigation into the explosion.

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.

1 dies in blast off Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan
A police car is seen near the explosion site in front of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyzstan's Bishkek, Aug 30, 2016. (Xinhua)

The explosion also caused damage to the embassy door and wall, as well as buildings next to the Chinese embassy.

The embassy compound and the area in the vicinity are currently under a police lockdown owing to security concerns, with bomb disposal experts working on the scene.

A senior Kyrgyz security officer told Xinhua that preliminary information suggested that explosives planted inside the car caused the explosion.

The assailant was blown into bits and local police are trying to identify the assailant using DNA extracted from his remains.

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