Asia

Afghan diplomat killed by his personal security guard in Pakistan, officials say

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and police commandos gather outside the Afghan consulate after the shooting.

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers and police commandos gather outside the Afghan consulate after the shooting.  (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

An Afghan diplomat was shot and killed by his security guard inside the consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Monday, officials said.

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Mohammad Zaki Abdu, the third secretary at the consulate, died of his wounds shortly after the shooting, according to the consulate's spokesman, Haris Khan.

"We were working at our office when we heard gunshots," he said. "Everybody was running in panic."

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The guard, identified only as an Afghan national named Rahatullah, was taken into custody, said Pakistani police official Azad Khan.

Both officials said the motive behind the killing was not yet known.

Pakistan has long been a hotbed of Islamic militancy. Foreign missions are provided extra security and also frequently hire their own private guards.

Rahatullah was the slain diplomat's personal bodyguard, and it wasn't clear whether the Afghan Consulate had hired him officially, said Khan, the police official.

Noor Wali Khan Noor, a Foreign Ministry official in Kabul, said a delegation from the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad has been dispatched to Karachi to investigate the incident.

Pakistan's Foreign Office said police intervened immediately after the shooting, which took place in the lobby of the consulate.

It said Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry spoke by phone with the Afghan ambassador to offer condolences and assistance in the investigation.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have long accused each other of tolerating Islamic militants who operate along their porous border.