x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Pakistani city

Gunmen kidnapped an Iranian diplomat and killed his guard in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar.

ISLAMABAD // Gunmen kidnapped an Iranian diplomat and killed his guard in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar today, police said, the latest violence against foreigners in the volatile region. The diplomat, identified as Athar Zada, was heading from his home to office with his guard when his car was ambushed in Hayatabad, a neighbourhood near Khyber tribal region where al Qaeda and Taliban militants as well as criminal gangs are very active.

I confirm that the commercial attache of the Iranian consulate is abducted and his guard has been shot dead, police official Noor Zar told reporters. The abduction came a day after the killing of a US aid official outside his home in the city. Peshawar is the last city on the road to the Khyber Pass, the main land route to Afghanistan. The Afghan ambassador-designate to Pakistan was kidnapped from Hayatabad neighbourhood on Sept 22.

Increasing violence has raised fears of instability in Pakistan, whose support is seen as vital to the defeat of al Qaeda globally and the Taliban in Afghanistan. *Reuters