A suspected suicide bomber rammed the gates of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishek on Tuesday, killing himself and wounding three others, officials said.
Police, who cordoned off the building and the adjacent area, and the GKNB state security service said they were investigating the incident.
A source at the Bishkek police told AFP that the Mitsubishi Delica car smashed a gate on the embassy before blowing up in the centre of the compound, close to the ambassador’s residence.
Another source with the Central Asian nation’s security service said an “explosive device” had been placed inside the vehicle.
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said China was deeply shocked by the “extreme and violent attack”.
“We are demanding that Kyrgyzstan find out the truth rapidly and punish [those responsible],” she told a press conference in Beijing.
Asked whether other Chinese diplomatic facilities had stepped up security measures following the attack, Hua said: “We attach great importance to the safety of Chinese personnel abroad. We have always taken protective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel overseas.”
Authorities in Kyrgyzstan, a mostly Muslim former Soviet republic of 6 million people, routinely detain suspected Islamist militants accused of being linked to the Islamic State, which actively recruits from Central Asia.
An anti-Chinese militant group made up of ethnic Uighurs is also active in the region. In 2014, Kyrgyz border guards killed 11 people believed to be members of that group who had illegally crossed the Chinese-Kyrgyz border.