Saudi condemns diplomat`s killing in Pakistan

Saudi Arabia condemned as "criminal" the killing of its diplomat in Pak.

Last Updated: May 16, 2011, 18:37 PM IST

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia condemned as
"criminal" an attack that killed one of its diplomats in
Pakistan Monday, urging authorities there to tighten security
measures.

"The kingdom strongly condemns the criminal attack
that targetted one of its members, Hasan al-Khatani, who was
treacherously assassinated while on his way to work," said a
foreign ministry official, quoted by SPA state news agency.

Saudi Arabia had asked the Pakistani authorities
"to tighten their security measures around the consulate in
Karachi and the Islamabad embassy, and on their staff," said
the unnamed official.

"The foreign ministry is continuing its
investigations in coordination with Pakistani authorities,"
SPA reported.

The Saudi diplomat was killed in a hail of gunfire
by drive-by shooters in Karachi, the second attack on Saudi
interests in Pakistan`s biggest city in less than a week,
officials in Pakistan said.

The motive for the attack was unclear, but
authorities said they were investigating whether it was
connected to the death of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, whom US
forces killed in the city of Abbottabad on May 2.

Police said Khatani worked in the consulate`s
security department and was driving a vehicle with diplomatic
plates when two motorcycle riders unleashed a hail of gunfire
at a crossroads in the city`s upmarket Defence neighbourhood.

Karachi city police chief Iqbal Mahmood said
militants fired four bullets, killing him on the spot.
In another drive-by attack last Wednesday,
assailants threw two grenades at the consulate in Karachi in
what officials said could have been reaction to bin Laden`s
death.

The Pakistani Taliban, blamed for some of the worst
acts of violence in the country, last Friday claimed a double
suicide bombing that killed 89 people outside a police
training centre as their first revenge for bin Laden.

Karachi has been awash with political violence,
crime, kidnappings and a variety of hardline extremist groups
are thought to operate in the city.

PTI