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Pak embassy in Kabul comes under attack

A security guard was wounded Friday by shots fired at Pakistan’s embassy in the Afghan capital in what Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called “an assassination attempt” on the head of the mission.

“I demand immediate investigation & action against perpetrators of this heinous act,” Sharif tweeted. An embassy official told AFP news agency a lone attacker “came behind the cover of houses and started firing”.

“The ambassador and all the other staff are safe, but we are not going outside of the embassy building as a precaution,” he said. In response to a media query, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said there were no plans to close the embassy or withdraw diplomats from Kabul.

The spokesperson said Pakistan was in contact with the Afghan government and enhanced security measures were being taken to protect Pakistani diplomatic personnel and missions in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Afghanistan’s foreign ministry said they strongly condemned the “failed attack”. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will not allow any malicious actors to pose a threat to the security of diplomatic missions in Kabul,” it said in a statement.

“Security agencies will investigate this incident seriously. After identifying the perpetrators, they will be punished according to law.” Also, a press release issued by the government of Pakistan said the compound of the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul came under attack on Friday, targeting head of Mission Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani. “By the grace of Allah Almighty, he is safe. However a Pakistani security guard Sepoy Israr Mohammad has been critically injured in the attack.”

According to Geo News, the security guard sustained three bullets in his chest and was later shifted to a medical facility. Sources said that the attack took place while the Nizamani was on a walk. The statement strongly condemned the assassination attempt on the head of mission and the attack against the embassy compound in Kabul.

Also, Afghan Chargé d’Affaires (a.i.) was called in Friday evening to convey Pakistan’s deep concern and anguish over the attack in Kabul on Pakistan’s head of mission. Additional Secretary (Afghanistan & West Asia) conveyed Pakistan’s grave concern over the serious incident. The Chargé d’Affaires (a.i.) was conveyed that security and protection of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions and personnel was the responsibility of the Afghan interim government and that the incident was an extremely serious security lapse

It was underscored that necessary steps be taken to ensure the security of the diplomatic premises, officers and staff working in Pakistan’s mission in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.

Calling the attack ‘highly unfortunate’, the Afghan Chargé d’Affaires (a.i.) said that the attack was perpetrated by the common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The attack has been condemned by the Afghan leadership in the strongest possible terms at the highest level. He also informed that the security of the Pakistani diplomatic missions had already been beefed up and assured that the Afghan authorities would leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.

Separately, one person was killed on Friday in a suicide bomb attack near the Kabul office of the Hezb-e-Islami party, former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Multiple attackers were killed and several guards injured in the suicide bomb attack, according to three Hezb-e-Islami sources and one source with the ruling Taliban. Party leader Hekmatyar said in a video statement that one person had been killed and two injured. “I assure my countrymen, a failed attempt happened here by those who have done it many times but have failed,” Hekmatyar said, adding it was not yet clear who was behind the attack.

“It cannot lower our morale or our resistance… we will stand with our nation,” he said. Kabul police and the interior ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The attack on the Hezb-e-Islami party office occurred near a mosque where senior party leaders were present, but all — including Hekmatyar — were unscathed, according to the party statement and his grandson, Obaidullah Baheer.

“All respected authorities, including the respected leader, are safe and sound … two senior guards from the leader’s support unit were superficially injured and no one else was injured,” the statement said.

One Taliban and one party source said a vehicle belonging to the attackers and packed with explosives had detonated near the office. The firing took place and two attackers were killed while trying to enter the mosque, they said.

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