UAE says 5 Diplomats killed in Afghan blast

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DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Wednesday that five of its diplomats were killed in a bombing in Kandahar, Afghanistan the day before, one of the worst attacks to target the young nation’s diplomatic corps.

The UAE martyrs have been named as Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki, Abdullah Mohammed Essa Obaid Al Kaabi, Ahmed Rashid Salim Ali Al Mazroui, Ahmed Abdul Rahman Ahmad Al Tunaiji, and Abdul Hamid Sultan Abdullah Ibrahim Al Hammadi, who had been on a mission to carry out humanitarian, educational and development projects in the Republic of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban denied planting the bomb in the Kandahar attack, which also wounded the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.

Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, has mourned with deep sorrow and grief, the death of a number of UAE’s sons

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE’s prime minister and vice president, said on Twitter that “there is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help” others.

The Kandahar attack targeted a guesthouse of provincial Gov. Homayun Azizia, who was also wounded in the assault, along with UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi.

The Taliban claimed attacks earlier on Tuesday in Kabul that killed at least 38 people and wounded dozens. But on Wednesday, they issued a short statement blaming an “internal local rivalry” for the attack.

An earlier UAE Foreign Ministry statement said the diplomats were in Kandahar as part of a humanitarian mission.

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