A “suicide bomber” rammed his car into the gate of the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, an attack which left three others wounded, reports said.
Images posted online showed a large plume of smoke towering above Bishkek, the capital of the former Soviet Central Asian country, while emergency vehicles raced through the streets.
“As a result of the explosion only the suicide bomber terrorist died. Security guards were injured,” Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Jenish Razakov told journalists.
A security source told AFP that an “explosive device” had been placed inside the vehicle.
Chinese state news agency Xinhua said: The driver tried to ram the gate of the embassy compound.
Xinhua showed images on Twitter of police cordoning off the embassy area.
Local journalist Ryskeldi Satke said on Twitter: I actually heard it. Pretty strong blast.
The attack drew an angry response from China, who branded it “extreme and violent.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also urged Kyrgyz authorities to “get to the bottom of the incident” at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Kyrgyzstan borders China’s north-western Xinjiang region, which is home to the largely Muslim Uighur population. Bishkek is about 680 miles (1,100 kilometres) form Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
Uighurs have been blamed for a series of terror attacks inside Xinjiang, and occasionally in other parts of China.
Kyrgyzstan is also home to a large Uighur community, and while its predominantly Muslim population is considered moderate in outlook, the country has a history of political instability.
A Chinese official was shot dead in 2000 in an attack blamed on radicals from within China.
Kyrgyz border guards killed 11 people which some Chinese media claimed were militants who illegally crossed the border in 2014.
Rights groups say Uighurs experience harsh oppression under Chinese rule, including restrictions on their religious freedom, and they often attempt to flee their homeland in desperation.
Police in Thailand said a Uighur trafficking ring was behind a deadly blast at a Bangkok shrine which killed 20 people – although most observers are unclear about the causes of that attack.
The UK government warns of an underlying threat from terrorism in Kyrgyzstan.
Security forces conducted several anti-terrorism operations in Bishkek in 2015, it said.
News Source TelegraphNews