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