Islamic State Group Claims Attack on Pakistan’s Top Diplomat in Afghanistan

The Islamic State group said Saturday it is responsible for a Friday assassination attempt on Pakistan’s chief diplomat in Afghanistan.

Sources said Charge d’affaires Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani survived, but his security guard was critically injured.

In a statement Saturday, the Islamic State group’s regional chapter said it had “attacked the apostate Pakistani ambassador and his guards.”

A police spokesperson in Kabul said one suspect has been arrested and two weapons seized.

Nizamani was on a routine afternoon walk Friday inside the sprawling embassy compound when unknown gunmen opened fire on him from a nearby building. The diplomat escaped unhurt, but his security guard was hit in the chest by three bullets, sources added.

A Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry statement in Islamabad condemned what it called an attempted assassination of Nizamani. It demanded the Taliban government in Kabul immediately investigate the shooting and bring the culprits to justice. Pakistan also called on local authorities to take urgent measures to ensure the safety and security of its diplomatic mission, personnel and citizens in Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement that his government strongly condemns “the failed firing attack” at the Pakistan embassy and that it will not allow “any malicious actors” to pose a threat to the security of diplomatic missions in the Afghan capital.

“Our security [agencies] will conduct a serious investigation, identify perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Balkhi said.

Pakistan and the world at large do not formally recognize Afghanistan’s Taliban government, although Pakistan — along with China, Russia, Turkey, Qatar and several other countries — has kept its embassy in Kabul open.

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