A powerful explosion has targeted a vehicle at a major university campus in the southern port city of Karachi, killing at least four people, including three Chinese nationals.
Ghulam Nabi Memon, the city police chief, said the bombing was carried out near a Chinese language teaching center at Karachi University on Tuesday.
"Initial investigation suggests that it was a suicide attack but our bomb disposal squad has arrived at the scene and is collecting evidence," Memon said.
He said closed-circuit camera footage from the site showed a person dressed in the female burqa walking up to the van, followed by the explosion.
A spokesperson for the university confirmed that three of the victims were Chinese nationals. They were identified as Confucius Institute Director Huang Guiping, Ding Mupeng, Chen Sai.
Police sources said that there were seven to eight people in the van. Some others were said to be injured in the attack.
A separatist group based in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan Province claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Tuesday assault was the first major attack on Chinese nationals in Pakistan since the bombing of a bus at Dasu in the country's troubled northwest in July 2021, which killed nine Chinese citizens.
China is building up a nearly 3,000-kilometer-long network of roads and railway lines and is investing in Pakistan's energy and infrastructure projects under its mega Belt and Road Initiative. Large numbers of Chinese nationals are now based in Pakistan to supervise and build infrastructure projects, and their security has long been an issue of concern in the country.