Karachi Police, Led by Female Officer, Thwart Attack on Chinese Consulate

Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep 11/28/2019

In a daylight shoot-out in Karachi on Friday, Pakistani security forces thwarted an attack apparently aimed at the Chinese Consul General in the southern coastal city. Sind police official Amir Sheikh told The Media Line that three gunmen, two police officers and two civilians were killed during an hour-long gunfight, the police contingent led by a female officer.
According to Sheikh, the attackers first opened fire at a check point, then detonated hand grenades and set three vehicles on fire. The Chinese diplomats and other consular staff were safely evacuated to a safe house.

Deputy Inspector General Javeed Alam Odho of the Karachi police told The Media Line that one of the three dead attackers who wore a suicide vest was gunned down by a police sniper and the others died in the gun battle.

Peer Muhammed, Senior Superintendent of the Karachi police revealed to The Media Line that the responding police contingent was headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Suhai Aziz Talput, a female officer who was the first official on the scene and “successfully managed to engage the terrorists” who, armed with automatic weapons, hand grenades and suicide vests, arrived in a vehicle and opened fire in the heavily-guarded area that has schools and upscale restaurants.

The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army tweeted responsibility for the deadly attack after which Twitter suspended its account.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack and ordered a complete inquiry into the incident and has ordered that elements behind the incident must be exposed.
In his tweet, Imran Khan said that the failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly the reaction to unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from his recent trip to China. He said the attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine.

Sind Province Police officials reported recovering a significant amount of explosives, weapons, ammunition, dried fruits and medicines, which is being interpreted as indications that the attackers had planned to take hostages but apparently were unable to do so because of the speed of the police response which denied the gunmen access to the compound and continued to engage until elite army rangers arrived at the scene.

Assistant superintendent Aziz has been recommended to become the first woman police officer to receive the “Father of the Nation Police Medal.”

Speaking to The Media Line, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman and son of former prime minister Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, praised Suhai Aziz in his tweet and said that “The reprehensible terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was thwarted by the courageous fight put up by our Sindh police led by the courageous Suhai Aziz.
In an exclusive interview with The Media Line, Aziz said she rushed to the scene as soon as she heard about the attack. “I managed the manpower, I called for the armed personnel carrier, the fire brigade, ambulances; and I informed my senior officers. I then made the environment favorable to the assault teams.”

Aziz, who told TML she was drawn to the job in part “because of the adrenalin, and the satisfaction,” has been in this position before. In 2017, she defused a bomb discovered at Mehriman University in the city of Jamshoro.

She related that her family wanted her to become a chartered accountant but she felt the job to be very dull as it had no social value and decided to appear for the Central Superior Services examination and passed on her first try.

At the age of 25, Suhai Aziz Talpur became the first woman from the lower Sinds to join the police.

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Armoured Vehicles Responsible for 20 Deaths in Accidents this Year in Turkey Alone.

“They Giveth and they Taketh”

Twenty people have been killed in Turkey by security forces’ armoured vehicles in accidental collisions or shooting incidents, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen told the Turkish parliament in a speech on Thursday.

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Bilgen’s speech came the day after 32-year-old Sedat Polat was killed in the southeast Turkish province of Şanlıurfa when a police armoured vehicle accidentally opened fire on the bus he was a passenger on as it stopped at a checkpoint.

In the past year around 20 people aged between four and 80 years old have been killed by security forces’ vehicles that have gone out of control and crashed into homes, failed to brake at junctions and crashed into civilians, or when they have opened fire without provocation, Bilgen said.

The deaths in 2018 followed another year with a high incidence of accidental deaths caused by armoured vehicles in 2017.

The Turkish news portal Artı Gerçek reported in June 2017 that 25 people had been killed by armoured vehicles since a state of emergency was called on July 20, 2016, and the majority of the deaths had again been caused in accidents.

The state of emergency was brought in after factions in the Turkish army attempted a coup on July 15, 2016. However, the coup attempt had been preceded by curfews and heavy fighting throughout large parts of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, where groups associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) resumed decades of armed conflict with Turkish security forces when a ceasefire broke down in 2015.

 

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Karachi attack: China consulate attack leaves four dead

DAR Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep Nov 27, 2018

Diplomatic Security image draft

Story From Nov 23rd

Gunmen have killed at least four people in an attack on the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Gunshots were heard at about 09:30 local time (04:30 GMT) outside the consulate in the upmarket Clifton area. Police shot dead three attackers.

Separatist militants who oppose Chinese investment projects in western Pakistan say they carried out the attack.

In another incident on Friday, at least 30 people were killed in a bomb attack in north-west Pakistan.

The blast occurred in a mostly Shia neighborhood in Orakzai district. Police say a suicide bomber on a motorbike drove into a crowded marketplace.

Pakistan’s Shia minority has often been targeted by Sunni extremists.

What happened in Karachi?

Three gunmen tried to enter the consulate but were stopped by guards at a checkpoint, reports said. Two of those killed in the attack were police officers.

A burning vehicle in a streetImage copyrightXINHUA
Image captionA burning vehicle near the attack site

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a blast, and local TV channels broadcast images of a plume of smoke. There is a heavy police presence in the area which has been cordoned off.

All the staff inside the consulate are safe, China said. The government condemned the attack on its mission and the foreign ministry in Beijing called for extra measures to protect Chinese citizens in Pakistan.

“At the same time we mourn the deaths of the Pakistani police and think of their families at this time,” a spokesman said.

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But the spokesman was keen to praise Pakistani security forces for its efforts to protect the consulate.

A separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army, said it had carried out the attack. It is one of a number of separatist groups operating in the province, which has seen a long-running nationalist insurgency.

“We have been seeing the Chinese as an oppressor, along with Pakistani forces,” a spokesman for the group told the AFP news agency.

Over the years, construction projects and Chinese workers in Balochistan have been repeatedly targeted by militants. Most recently, a suicide bombing in August injured a number of Chinese engineers.

So far, none of the incidents has been large enough in scale to really threaten the viability of Chinese investment in the country. But this is one of the most prominent attacks to date.

Officials told the BBC’s Stephen McDonell in Beijing they were confident the Pakistani government was able to manage the security situation to guarantee Chinese investment.

A female police officer, Suhai Talpur, who led the security operation during the consulate attack is being showered with praise, BBC Monitoring reports.

“Suhai Aziz, you have set an example of bravery. These are the women who are ahead of everyone,” Sindh provincial chief Murad Ali Shah was quoted as saying by Pakistan Today.

“They say women belong in the kitchen. Except when everyone needs a saviour,” columnist Aisha Sarwari tweeted.

Suhai Talpur joined the police force after passing the country’s civil services exam in 2013, according to local media.

“When my parents decided to enroll me at a school, most of our relatives started taunting my family. So much so, that my family had to leave our village and move to a nearby town,” she is quoted as telling The Express Tribune.

What is China doing in Balochistan?

By Secunder Kermani, BBC Pakistan correspondent, Islamabad

Balochistan is a sparsely populated region and has remained Pakistan’s most impoverished area despite being rich in gas and coal reserves, as well as copper and gold.

Baloch nationalists have long accused the central government of exploitation, and denying the province its due rights.

The area is at the heart of an ambitious Chinese project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The corridor is a string of huge investments by China in Pakistani infrastructure, which aim to link its western Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan, as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.

China has poured billions into Pakistan, and thousands of Chinese nationals visit the country to work on CPEC projects or other business ventures. Pakistan is keen to ensure nothing happens to jeopardize that and Chinese workers are closely guarded.

The assault on the consulate is particularly significant because it took place in Karachi, the commercial capital of Pakistan, rather than in the remote province where the militants are based.

The incident will deeply concern authorities who have described the Chinese funding as a “game-changer”.

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November marks 39th Anniversary of US Embassy Siege in Irans

Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep 11/07/2018

Tehran (AFP) – Iran’s annual rally to mark the storming of the US embassy and hostage-taking of 1979 had particular significance on Sunday on the eve of renewed sanctions by Washington.

iran embassy
Iranian protesters burn US and Israeli flags during a demonstration outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2018 Iranian protesters burn US and Israeli flags during a demonstration outside the former US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2018 (AFP Photo/ATTA KENARE)

Thousands joined rallies in Tehran and other cities, carrying placards that mocked President Donald Trump, wiping their feet on fake dollar bills, and engaging in the usual ritual of burning the US flag.

This year’s 39th anniversary fell just hours before Washington was set to reimpose sanctions — including an oil embargo — following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this year.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, addressed the crowd from the grounds of the former embassy, now known as the “den of spies”.

He said “economic warfare” was a final bid by Washington to overthrow the Islamic republic after decades of failed attempts.

“With God’s help and the resistance and perseverance of the pious and revolutionary people of Islamic Iran, this last weapon of the enemy — the economic war — which is accompanied by America’s widespread media operation against the nation of Iran, will be defeated,” Jafari said.

“Never threaten Iran,” he warned US President Donald Trump, describing him as America’s “strange president”.

The seizure of the US embassy by radical students was a key stage in the Islamic revolution of 1979, leading to a 444-day hostage crisis that permanently damaged relations between Washington and Tehran.

The students believed the US would launch a counter-coup to return deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power — similar to the CIA-backed coup that overthrew Iran’s elected government in 1953 — unaware that the king was already critically ill with cancer.

Several of the students later regretted the incident, but for the establishment it has become a powerful symbol of Iran’s refusal to be dominated by outside powers, the key driving force of the revolution.

Without the attack on the embassy, “the revolution would not have reached its 40th year,” said Jafari.

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35 years ago, the Beirut bombing took the lives of 220 US Marines, the worst single-day loss for the service since World War II’s Iwo Jima.

11/02/2018 Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep

Diplomatic Security image draft

Thirty-five years ago, two suicide bombers killed 241 American and 58 French military personnel, as well as six civilians, in Beirut, Lebanon. The attack marked the largest single-day loss for US servicemen since the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive.

U.S. Marines with the School of Infantry-East Color Guard stand at parade rest during a wreath laying ceremony on the anniversary of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on Camp Geiger, N.C., Oct. 23, 2015.playU.S. Marines with the School of Infantry-East Color Guard stand at parade rest during a wreath laying ceremony on the anniversary of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on Camp Geiger, N.C., Oct. 23, 2015.

 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SOI-East Combat Camera Cpl. Andrew Kuppers/ Released)

Thirty-five years ago, two suicide bombers killed 241 American and 58 French military personnel, as well as six civilians, in Beirut, Lebanon. The incident marked the largest single-day loss for the US military since the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive.

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The horrific Oct. 23, 1983 attack on the multinational peacekeepers, an attack purportedly perpetrated by the Iranian-funded terrorist organization Hezbollah, was especially devastating for the US Marine Corps, which lost 220 service members. The Corps had not suffered such a loss since in one day since Iwo Jima. Eighteen US Navy sailors and three Army soldiers were also killed in the Beirut barracks bombing, and dozens of others were injured.

The deadly blast, characterized by the FBI as the largest non-nuclear explosion they’d ever seen, came just a few months after the April 18, 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Lebanon, where an extremist killed 63 people, including 17 Americans.

In 1982, the US decided, at the request of the Lebanese government, to send US troops to Lebanon to serve as peacekeepers in the bloody Lebanese Civil War between warring Muslim and Christian factions. The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina was deployed to Beirut in the spring of 1983.

U.S. Marines in full gear arrive in Beirut.playU.S. Marines in full gear arrive in Beirut.

 (AP Photo)

Source: US Marine Corps

US forces, along with their French and Italian counterparts, achieved some initial success in Lebanon, but the Muslim factions in the country began to turn their aggression toward the foreign troops.

Lance Corporal David Chapman of Pennsylvania, right, fires from his sandbagged bunker position at Beirut's International AirportplayLance Corporal David Chapman of Pennsylvania, right, fires from his sandbagged bunker position at Beirut’s International Airport

(AP Photo)

At 6:22 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, a truck laden with thousands of pounds of explosives slammed into the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine headquarters at the airport in Beirut.

The explosion of the Marine Corps building in Beirut, Lebanon, created a large cloud of smoke that was visible from miles away.playThe explosion of the Marine Corps building in Beirut, Lebanon, created a large cloud of smoke that was visible from miles away.

(Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort)

The driver, said to be a Iranian national, detonated the explosives, collapsing the four-story barracks.

Rescue workers remove the body of a U.S. Marine from the rubble of the Marine Battalion headquarters at Beirut airport.playRescue workers remove the body of a U.S. Marine from the rubble of the Marine Battalion headquarters at Beirut airport.

 (AP Photo/Assad)

American troops were buried in the rubble. “Bodies were lying around all over,” one rescuer reportedly said at the time, “Other people were trapped under the concrete. I could hear them screaming: ‘Get us out. Don’t leave us.’ I just started digging, picking men out.”

A U.S. Marine looks around as he is pulled from the wreckage of the Marine headquarters near Beirut airport.playA U.S. Marine looks around as he is pulled from the wreckage of the Marine headquarters near Beirut airport.

 (AP Photo/Bill Foley)

Source: Politico

The attack claimed the lives of 220 Marines, making it the worst single-day loss for the service in nearly four decades.

U.S. Marines carry their dead comrades away from the four-story command center that was destroyed in a bomb blast.playU.S. Marines carry their dead comrades away from the four-story command center that was destroyed in a bomb blast.

 (AP Photo/Asaad Jeradeh)

Minutes after the first attack, another suicide bomber hit the French barracks a couple of miles away. French troops managed to kill the driver, but the bomb exploded a few moments later, bringing down the nine-story building.

A wounded French soldier is attended to by a doctor after he was injured in a huge car bomb attack at a building housing members of the French contingent of the peacekeeping forces in Beirut.playA wounded French soldier is attended to by a doctor after he was injured in a huge car bomb attack at a building housing members of the French contingent of the peacekeeping forces in Beirut.

 (AP Photo/Nagi)

“There are no words to properly express our outrage and I think the outrage of all Americans at the despicable act,” President Ronald Reagan said in response.

President Ronald Reagan condemned the Beirut bombing.playPresident Ronald Reagan condemned the Beirut bombing.

 (AP Photo/Barry Thumma)

Source: The New York Times

The US withdrew its troops from Lebanon in February 1984.

A U.S. Marine stands in front of the ruins of the Marine operations center, which was destroyed in the suicide bomb attack.playA U.S. Marine stands in front of the ruins of the Marine operations center, which was destroyed in the suicide bomb attack.

 (AP Photo/Jamal)

Source: ABC News

A memorial was built at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and dedicated on Oct. 23, 1986. The names of the fallen, as well as the inscription, “They came in peace,” are written on the memorial.

The memorial at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune honors the US service members killed in the Beirut barracks bombings.playThe memorial at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune honors the US service members killed in the Beirut barracks bombings.

 (US Marine Corps/Cpl. Jackeline Perez Rivera)

Memorial services are held annually to remember those who were lost, as well as the cost of freedom.

A Marine color guard stands in front of the Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville, N.C., during the Beirut Memorial Ceremony Oct. 23, 2014.playA Marine color guard stands in front of the Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville, N.C., during the Beirut Memorial Ceremony Oct. 23, 2014.

 (US Marine Corps/Cpl. James Smith)

“I think we all kind of grew up that day because we knew the world had changed,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said Tuesday, “It changed the way we saw the world. It changed the way we looked at threats. It changed the way we trained. It changed the way we operated – and those lessons learned carried through the rest of our time as Marines. And that impact of Beirut still shapes us today.”

U.S. Marines with the Official Marine Corps Color Guard march on the colors during the Beirut Memorial Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, Washington, D.C., Oct. 23, 2017.playU.S. Marines with the Official Marine Corps Color Guard march on the colors during the Beirut Memorial Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, Washington, D.C., Oct. 23, 2017.

 (Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Hailey D. Clay)

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