Islamic State claims attack on Pakistani envoy in Kabul

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 04 2022 07:43 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Saturday for an attack on Pakistan's embassy in Kabul, which Islamabad decried as an "assassination attempt".

A security guard was wounded in the attack Friday in the Afghan capital. 

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

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called it "an assassination attempt" on the head of the mission, and demanded an investigation.

A Kabul police spokesman said one suspect had been arrested and two light weapons seized after security forces swept a nearby building.

Although Pakistan does not officially recognise Afghanistan's Taliban government, it kept its embassy open even as the hardline Islamists took over in August last year, and maintains a full diplomatic mission.

An embassy official told AFP a lone attacker "came behind the cover of houses and started firing", but that the ambassador and other staff were safe.

A spokesman for Afghanistan's foreign ministry said they strongly condemned the "failed attack".

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will not allow any malicious actors to pose a threat to the security of diplomatic missions in Kabul," it said in a statement, vowing to find and punish those responsible.

Pakistan has complicated relations with the Taliban, with Islamabad long accused of supporting the Islamists even while backing the US-led invasion of Afghanistan that toppled them following the 9/11 attacks.

Pakistan is home to more than a million Afghan refugees, and the porous border they share is frequently the scene of clashes.

Since returning to power, the Afghan Taliban have insisted they would not allow foreign militant groups to operate from home soil.

© Agence France-Presse