Attack on Pakistani embassy in Kabul leaves one person injured

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Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under gunfire attack on Friday injuring a Pakistani security guard, officials have reported, in what Islamabad has called an attempt to assassinate its head of mission, who was left unhurt.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the embassy attack, coming just days after Pakistan's foreign minister led a team to Kabul to meet Taliban authorities in the hope of easing tensions along the border between the two countries.

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the incident, the embassy compound was targeted by gunfire from a nearby building. Police had arrested on suspect and recovered two firearms, officials said.

“The compound of the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul came under attack today targeting [the] head of mission, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It read further that Mr Nizamani was safe, but a Pakistani security guard was critically injured in the attack while protecting the ambassador.

The head of mission arrived in Kabul last month to take up his role at one of the few remaining embassies operational throughout the period since the hardline Islamist Taliban seized power in August 2021 after withdrawal of foreign forces.

Alleged ‘assassination attempt’

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in a Twitter post, called the attack an “assassination attempt” while seeking an investigation and action against the perpetrators.

A spokesperson for the Taliban foreign ministry condemned the attack.

“[The] Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns the attempted shooting and failed attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul,” spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Twitter, adding that Taliban security agencies will be investigating the issue. The attack occurred at a time of heightened security in regions bordering Afghanistan after the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) said on Monday it would no longer abide by a months-long ceasefire with the Pakistani government.

The Afghan Taliban has been facilitating peace talks between local militants and Pakistan authorities since late last year.