Pakistan's top envoy to Iraq attacked in Baghdad

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Gunmen attacked a convoy carrying the Pakistani ambassador home from work Tuesday in Baghdad, but the diplomat was not injured. It was the third attack on a foreign diplomat in less than a week in Iraq.

The envoy, Mohammed Younis Khan, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that gunmen riding in two cars fired on his convoy in the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital.

"Our escort fired back at them so we were able to escape without any harm," Khan said. He said he believed that one of the attackers' cars was hit by fire from his bodyguards, but he was not sure if any of the men were injured.

"It happened so quickly I didn't have time to think of being scared," said Khan, who was named Pakistan's ambassador to Iraq earlier this year. He said security would be stepped up, but declined to give details.

Several Pakistani civilians have been kidnapped and killed by insurgents in Iraq, but this was the first assault on a Pakistani official.

Pakistan has been a heavy backer of the U.S.-led war on terrorism in Afghanistan, but it has offered only lukewarm support for America's activities in Iraq.

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