FO Islamabad is working ‘independently and in consultation with the Afghan authorities’ to verify militant group’s claims in an effort to determine whether or not Islamic State was behind the attack on the Afghan embassy in Kabul.

A view of Foreign Office building in Islamabad. PHOTO: FILE

On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a statement in which it said it was “verifying the veracity” of claims that Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-KP) had accepted responsibility for an attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul. The statement was issued in response to reports that IS-KP had admitted to carrying out the attack.

On Friday, bullets were fired at the Pakistani embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif described the incident as “an assassination attempt” on the head of the mission, Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani. The incident resulted in the injury of a Pakistani security guard.

After security officers combed an adjacent building “and prevented the continuation of gunfire,” a spokesman for the Kabul police department stated that one suspect had been apprehended and two light weapons had been confiscated as a result of the operation.

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According to a statement sent to AFP by a representative of the embassy, the lone attacker “entered behind the shelter of homes and started firing.” According to what he had previously shared, “The ambassador and all of the other employees are safe, but as a precaution, we will not be going outside of the embassy building.”

Yesterday, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, who serves as the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), issued a statement condemning the attack.

In the meantime, local Afghan media, citing diplomatic sources, said that police had conducted a raid on an eight-story building close to the Pakistani embassy in Kabul and had taken a person into custody as a result of the operation.

When the apprehended suspect saw the police approaching, he attempted to leave by hanging from a rope and jumping out of the window. His identity has not been made public. But there was no success with the attempt.

It was rumoured that the accused had smuggled landmines inside the premises and hid them in three different rooms.

One long-range rifle was among the other 46 rifles, a sniper rifle, and many other weaponry and ammo that were discovered from the suspect. The suspect was sent to a location that has not been disclosed so that the inquiry can continue.

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A second suspect was detained in addition to the primary offender who was apprehended. His identity has likewise remained a secret up to this point.

It should also be mentioned that it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the incident, which took place just a few days after Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul to speak with Taliban authorities in an effort to reduce tensions along the border.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that was made today, “we have seen reports that IS-KP has accepted responsibility for the terrorist attack that took place on the Pakistan Embassy compound on 2 December 2022.”

According to the statement, further investigation into the truth of these reports is currently being conducted “independently and in consultation with the authorities in Afghanistan.”

Despite this, the terrorist attack is a fresh reminder of the danger that terrorism poses to the peace and stability of Afghanistan and the region as a whole. The spokesperson for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry reaffirmed the country’s “commitment to combat terrorism” by saying that “we must act resolutely with all of our collective power to destroy this threat.”