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IS claims attack on Pakistani envoy in Kabul

KABUL (AFP) – The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility on 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 on Friday in the Afghan capital.

In a statement cited by extremist monitor SITE, the IS’ 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 Taleban government, it kept its embassy open 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 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 Taleban have insisted they would not allow foreign militant groups to operate from home soil.

File photo shows Taleban fighters standing guard near to the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. PHOTO: AP