Iraq-Bahrain, Pakistan Envoys Under Fire

About four gunmen opened fire on the Bahraini envoy’s car from a pickup truck in the upscale Mansour district as he was driving to work, Reuters quoted a police source as saying.

A hospital source said Hassan Malalla Al-Ansari was hit in the right hand by a bullet.

The envoy’s white luxury car with red diplomatic plates stood spattered inside with blood.

At least two bullet holes were visible in its plastic lights and its tires were blown out, while scratches on the paintwork suggested that armor plating may have deflected other bullets.

“He was subjected to a kidnapping attempt by armed men while heading from his home to the mission,” Bahrain’s BNA news agency said, quoting a deputy foreign minister.

Shortly afterwards a bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy but police said it targeted a US military patrol, not the mission.

Pakistani Envoy

Hours later, two cars of gunmen fired on the motorcade of the head of the Pakistani mission, police sources said.

They sped off when his guards returned fire.

“There were exchanges of fire and one of the three cars in the Pakistani convoy was hit but the ambassador was unharmed,” a police source told Reuters.

Pakistan’s embassy made no comment. Official data showed Mohammad Younis Khan was Pakistan’s ambassador in Iraq.

The new Iraqi government sees the attacks as a campaign by “insurgents” to intimidate fellow Arab or Muslim states and stop them improving their ties with Baghdad’s new US-backed administration.

“It is not strange, the kidnapping of the Egyptian diplomat in a bid to frighten embassies and missions. This is the goal of terrorism,” government spokesman Laith Kubba told a briefing before the attack on the Pakistani convoy.

Egypt’s envoy Ihab El-Sherif was snatched by gunmen off the street Saturday, July 2, days after Iraq indicated he would become the first Arab diplomat in Baghdad with the full rank of ambassador since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Egyptian experts agreed Monday that Sherif’s abduction sent a strong message from Iraqi resistance groups to Arab countries set to follow the Egyptian lead by sending ambassadors to occupied Iraq.

Stressing the same concept, Hassan Nafaa’, professor of political sciences in Cairo University, told Al-Jazeera Tuesday that the series of attacks on diplomats underlined the “political” messages the resistance groups have for the Arab and Muslim countries, the new Iraqi government and the US-led occupation authorities.

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