Nation in mourning as 5 UAE diplomats killed in Kandahar attack

Nation in mourning as 5 UAE diplomats killed in Kandahar attack
The guest house room inside the governor's compound in southernKandahar was blackened by a fire after the explosion.

Abu Dhabi - Six others were killed and 18 wounded in the attack late on Tuesday.



By Sherouk Zakaria and Ahmed Shaaban

Published: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:18 AM

The UAE leadership led the world in mourning the martyrdom of five Emirati diplomats in a bomb attack in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. Six others were killed and 18 wounded in the attack late on Tuesday.

Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan, was among the injured. The attack targeted a guesthouse of provincial governor Homayun Azizi, who was also wounded in the incident.

The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, directed all ministries and government departments and institutions across the country to fly the UAE's flag at half-mast for three days in honour of the martyrs, "who gave their lives in defence of humanitarian causes".

The diplomats were in Kandahar to lay the foundation stone for Dar Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan orphanage.

The Taleban denied planting the bomb, but provincial police chief Abdul Raziq blamed the Taleban-allied Haqqani network.

The Afghan Ambassador to the UAE, Abdul Farid Zikria, told Khaleej Times he was in a state of shock. "(Ambassador Juma) is a good friend of mine for almost nine years now. He's like my brother, and I meet him every time I visit Kabul," said Zikria.

He said he was also friends with one of the martyrs, Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki.

"The three of us were supposed to have dinner before the UAE delegation left the country, but I couldn't attend ... Al Bastaki was a terrific human being."

Zikria described the terrorist attack as "a case for both nations to remain together to fight terrorism".

Ali Abdurrahman, brother of martyred diplomat Ahmed Abdurrahman Ahmed Al Tunaiji, said he died on the path of charity.

His father, Abdurrahman Al Tunaiji, said such cowardly crimes will never deter the sincere work the UAE is carrying out. "It is our duty to support peace, security and stability in the world under the umbrella of our prudent leadership.

"Terrorism can never stop the deeply-rooted values of giving instilled in us by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan," Al Tunaiji added.


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