Friday, May 20, 2011

US Consulate General Peshawar: IED Targets Two Consulate Vehicles

Just a few days after a Saudi diplomat was killed by two men riding a motorcycle in Karachi, Pakistan, Al Jazeera is reporting that two US Consulate vehicles were attacked today in Peshawar.

At least one person has been killed and 10 others wounded after an attack on two US consulate vehicles in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Pakistani police said a roadside bomb struck two vehicles carrying foreigners on Friday, killing a Pakistani passer-by.

The US embassy later confirmed that two of its consulate vehicles had been targeted, and that one of them was badly damaged.

"Two vehicles of the US consulate were on their way to the consulate when they were attacked," US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said.

"One vehicle was damaged. There is no death among our personnel and there are no serious injuries," he added.

"Only one car was hit. In that car there were US citizen diplomats and a Pakistani driver."

Ijaz Khan, a police superintendent, told the Reuters news agency that two American security guards were slightly wounded, and were being treated at a US medical facility.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the capital, Islamabad, said, "Because the vehicle was bomb proof, none of the people in the vehicle was killed."

Liaqat Ali, Peshawar police chief, said a local man riding on a motorbike was killed in the blast, which took place on a main road in the city.
Read Pakistan blast strikes US consulate convoy here.

A brief AFP video of the bombing aftermath is below:

The US Embassy is Islamabad has issued the following statement:

Terrorist Attack on U.S. Consulate Personnel in Peshawar | May 20, 2011

Islamabad- This morning, a vehicle belonging to the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar was hit by an improvised explosive device. The explosion damaged the vehicle, but no U.S. personnel were seriously injured. According to media reports, at least one person was killed and bystanders were injured.

We appreciate the support of Pakistani authorities, who responded immediately and are investigating the incident.

Our thoughts are with all those injured by this heinous attack.

The United States is committed to working with Pakistan in our joint effort to combat terrorism and to bring to justice those behind this attack.
We note that the Saudi diplomat who was killed a few days ago was reported in the news media as a security officer of the Saudi Consulate in Karachi and was killed on his way to work.  He was attacked by two men on a motorcycle. Sounds Ray-Davish enough? Except that the dead diplomat, apparently did not have a gun. If he had one, and shot first, he might still be alive today. Of course, he could have ended in a circus, too, but better that than dead. 

I'm not advocating that our diplomats run around with guns but aren't they like -- sitting targets over there? Their protection is supposedly the responsibility of the host country, but this is Pakistan! And we're still talking about a civilian surge?

A note on the official vehicles - thank heavens they were armored to the teeth! And I hope no one is thinking of self-drive in POVs in Pakistan right now as a morale issue. 


TSB said...

You know, Islamabad only recently ended its policy of self-drive POVs!

Domani Spero said...

Thanks TSB! I did not know that the policy on self drive of privately owned vehicles was ended recently. Although I can understand that it gives personnel there some freedom of movement, and apparently was a morale booster, all the scenarios I ran in my poor brain range from bad to worse.

Consul-At-Arms said...

Personally, in places like Pakistan, I am advocating that we arm our diplomats.

I've quoted you and linked to you here: