Pakistan ‘verifying’ IS claim of Kabul attack

Foreign ministry urges to act with collective might to defeat terrorism menace

Our Correspondent December 04, 2022
A view of Foreign Office building in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said that it is in the process of “verifying the veracity” of claims that Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-KP) accepted the responsibility for attacking the Pakistan embassy in Kabul.

On Saturday, the outlawed Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack on Pakistan's embassy in Kabul, which Islamabad decried as an "assassination attempt".

In a statement cited by jihadist monitor SITE, the Islamic State's regional chapter said it had "attacked the Pakistani ambassador and his guards".

According to a statement issued by the MoFA on Sunday, “We have seen reports that the IS-KP has accepted responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Embassy compound on December 2, 2022.”

The statement said, “Independently and in consultation with the Afghan authorities, we are verifying the veracity of these reports.”

On Friday, a Pakistani security guard was wounded by shots fired at the Pakistan embassy in the Afghan capital, in what Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called “an assassination attempt” on the head of the mission Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani.

A Kabul police spokesperson had said one suspect had been arrested and two light weapons were seized after security forces swept a nearby building “and prevented the continuation of gunfire”.

An embassy official had told AFP 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 had said.

Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi had condemned the attack on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Afghan local media while quoting the diplomatic sources had 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.

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

It may also be noted that it was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, which came just days after Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul to meet Taliban authorities to ease tensions along the border.

The MoFA spokesperson said, “This notwithstanding, the terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. We must act resolutely with all our collective might to defeat this menace.” He reiterated Pakistan’s “commitment to combat terrorism”.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Pakistan's Special Representative for Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq urged for collective efforts to defeat the menace of terrorism.


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