Gunmen abduct Iranian diplomat, guard killed

* Iran strongly condemns 'terrorist act', summons Pakistan's envoy 

By Manzoor Ali Shah

PESHAWAR: Gunmen abducted an Iranian diplomat in Peshawar's upscale Hayatabad 
locality and killed his police guard on Thursday, police said.

Police and witnesses told Daily Times three gunmen with beards and flowing hair 
stopped Iranian commercial councillor Heshmatollah Atharzadeh's vehicle some 
distance from his house in Phase-IV of Hayatabad, bordering Khyber Agency. 

"The assailants stopped his vehicle and fired three or four times at the police 
guard. They bundled the diplomat in a white car and drove him away through 
Street 2," a witness told Daily Times.

Police guards stationed at his Bungalow 126 in Sector N-4 told Daily Times that 
the diplomat left his house at about 7:30am. Several minutes after he left, 
they heard gunshots.

Cantonment Circle SP Abdul Qadir said it was premature to comment but the 
pattern was apparently similar to the September abduction of an Afghan diplomat 
in the same locality of Peshawar. 

Iran: Iran's state radio quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi 
condemning the kidnapping as 'a terrorist act', while ISNA reported the 
ministry had summoned Pakistan's envoy in Tehran to protest 'inadequate 

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, NWFP Governor Owais Ghani and Foreign 
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi condemned the attack and said all necessary 
measures would be taken for the envoy's recovery

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