Iranian diplomat abducted in Pakistan

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Peshawar District (highlighted in yellow) is in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province
Image: Pahari Sahib.

Iranian diplomat Heshmatollah Atharzadeh has been kidnapped by armed men in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Thursday morning, police have said. The diplomat's car was ambushed in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Atharzadeh was heading from home to office with his guard when the car was ambushed in Hayatabad, a neighbourhood near the Khyber Agency region bordering Afghanistan. The guard was killed in the attack.

The Iranian consulate in Peshawar confirmed that the commercial attaché had been kidnapped. Iran's ambassador to Islamabad, Mashallah Shakeri, said the embassy is taking serious and appropriate measures to identify the kidnappers and release the diplomat. Shakeri held the Pakistani government responsible for the safety of foreign diplomats in the country, calling on Islamabad to work in full co-operation with the Iranians and help release the attaché.