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'No Chinese hostage in Karachi terror attack'

Last updated on: May 23, 2011 20:47 IST

China denied reports that some its nationals were taken as hostage by militants who attacked the Karachi naval base on Sunday.

"No Chinese nationals were taken hostage in a terrorist attack on an air force base in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi late Sunday night," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.

Jiang said, as a friendly neighbour of Pakistan, China supports the efforts of Pakistani government and people in maintaining the country's social stability.Chinese military personnel are among many others taken hostage by gunmen who attacked the Mehran naval aviation base in Karachi, Pakistan.

At least 12 soldiers have keen killed in the attack. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that the gunmen have been confined to one building. "We have been able to confine them to one building and an operation is underway either to kill or capture them," he added.

The base is located next to the Shahrah-e-Faisal – Karachi's main road.

Eyewitnesses have claimed that the militants used rocket-propelled grenades to damage and destroy several warplanes, including the navy's premier anti-submarine attack jet -- the US made P-3C Orion.

At least two of these multi-million dollar aircraft were set ablaze, they said.

The gunmen then opened fired, and killed several naval personnel. Subsequently, navy commandos and marines launched a counter assault.

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