Bishkek-A van driven by a suicide bomber exploded after ramming through a gate at the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, injuring three people, Kyrgyz authorities said.
“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 at the scene.
Razakov said the three wounded were all Kyrgyz employees of the embassy and that they have been hospitalized.
Law enforcement sources told Agence France Presse that a Mitsubishi Delica van smashed through a gate at the embassy on Tuesday morning before exploding in the center of the compound close to the ambassador’s residence.
A police source confirmed to Agence France Presse that the vehicle was driven by a suicide bomber and described the incident as a “terrorist attack.”
China’s foreign ministry condemned the attack as an “extreme and violent act” but refused to classify it as terrorism.
“We asked the Kyrgyz side to get to the bottom of this incident and hold whoever is behind this accountable,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told journalists.
The country’s national security committee said that a criminal case for “terrorism” had been launched in response to the incident.
Kyrgyz police sources put the strength of the blast at an equivalent of up to 10 kilos of TNT, and one said body parts thought to be those of the attacker were found several hundred meters from the blast site.
Local residents told AFP that the blast had blown in their windows and caused their houses to shake.
Impoverished majority-Muslim Kyrgyzstan — which borders western China — has a history of political instability and battling extremism.
The authorities regularly announce that they have foiled attacks planned by ISIS in the country.