Kabul embassy attack suspect ‘arrested’

US State Dept calls for a ‘full and transparent’ investigation into the attack


Our Correspondent December 03, 2022
Pakistan's chargé d'affaire Ubaid Ur Rehman Nizamani. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KABUL/ ISLAMABAD:

The suspect involved in the assassination attempt on Pakistan’s Head of Mission in Afghanistan Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani has been “arrested” from Kabul, the Afghan local media while quoting the diplomatic sources claimed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has called for a "full and transparent" investigation into the attack.

On Friday, Nizamani escaped an assassination attempt after Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under attack with gunfire. However, Pakistani security guard, Sepoy Israr Mohammad was injured while attempting to save Nizamani.

Nizamani was targeted when he was entering the office of the Head of Mission, which was closed due to a public holiday.

The attack occurred just days after Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khan led a team to the Afghan capital to meet Taliban authorities to ease tensions along the border between the two countries.

The Afghan local media while quoting the diplomatic sources on Saturday claimed that police raided an eight-storey building near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul and took a person into custody.

The arrested accused, whose identity has not been disclosed, tried to flee by jumping using a rope after seeing the police. However, the attempt was foiled.

It was reported that the accused had planted landmines in three rooms of the building.

Apart from one long-range rifle, 47 rifles, sniper and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the accused. The suspect was shifted to an unknown location for investigation.

Also read: Pak envoy unhurt in Kabul gun attack

Besides the main accused, one more suspect was taken into custody. His identity has also not been disclosed.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Saturday called for an investigation into the attack.

“We offer our sympathies and wish a quick recovery to those affected by the violence,” Price while addressing a news conference said.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the attack on a foreign diplomat, and we call for a full and transparent investigation,” he added.

The UN Security Council also condemned in "the strongest terms" the terrorist attack.

In a statement, the 15-member Council called for ensuring the safety of diplomatic and consular premises and underscored the need for bringing the perpetrators of the attack to justice.

It also wished a speedy and full recovery to the security guard who was injured in the reprehensible attack.

Meanwhile, Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the attack.

In statement, Bilawal said that his Afghan counterpart had given assurance to increase security of Pakistan’s Missions and embassy staff and would bring to the dock those found responsible for the attack.

On the other side, the Afghan foreign ministry spokesperson quoted Bilawal as saying that such attacks could not plague the relationships.

Separately, Pakistan's Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq on Saturday said that the government would provide resources to further enhance the security of the diplomats.

In a tweet, Sadiq noted that security guard Israr was taken to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Peshawar in a special plane on Friday night.

"Sepoy Israr Mohammad, who took bullets on chest to protect our Ambassador in Kabul was evacuated to CMH Peshawar last night by a special plane. Israr displayed extraordinary courage & devotion to duty: salute to this brave son of the soil - a true mujahid. Get well soon Israr!"

Sadiq observed that Nizamani and his team were working in an "extraordinarily challenging situation", saying that the safety and security of members was to be prioritised.

"First and foremost, the Afghan Interim Government will need to beef up the security of our Embassy and its personnel," he added.

"Govt [Government] of Pakistan will also provide necessary resources to further enhance the security of our diplomats to ensure continued and effective discharge of duties by them in the most important foreign capital for Pakistan," the ambassador continued.

(With input from News Desk)

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