bishkek.jpg
Photograph: Google maps

A suicide bomber attacked the Chinese embassy in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, wounding at least three embassy workers, Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Zhenish Razakov told reporters.

The incident, in the capital Bishkek, was a terrorist attack, Razakov said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. The victims were all Kyrgyz citizens. No Chinese diplomats were wounded, Razakov said.

Local authorities believe the bomber could have been a Muslim Uyghur, a Turkic ethnic group with a large population in Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring China's Xinjiang region, according to Interfax.

There has been a simmering conflict between Uyghurs and the Chinese state in Xinjiang for decades.

The attack occurred a day before Kyrgyzstan celebrates the 25th anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union.

Razakov called a meeting of senior officials on Tuesday to discuss increased security measures for the upcoming Independence Day festivities, according to a statement on his website.

The bomber, who has not been identified, drove a car into the embassy's gates around 10 am (0400 GMT) and was killed in the explosion shortly thereafter, local authorities said.

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