Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Pakistan

Pakistan Suicide Bomber Targets Iranian Consulate

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Police in Pakistan say two security guards were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iranian Consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

At least 10 people were reported wounded in the attack, which occurred in an area housing offices of foreign diplomatic missions and nongovernmental organizations.

A police official said the attacker "blew himself up when he was stopped by security men" at a checkpoint.

Reuters news agency reported that a spokesman for a militant group led by jihadist Mast Gul claimed responsibility for the February 24 attack.

Mast Gul is a Pakistani jihadist who once fought against Indian rule in Kashmir.

Cricket Diplomacy

Elsewhere in Pakistan, a top government official has offered to hold a cricket match with the Taliban as a way to revive stalled peace talks on ending the militant group's bloody insurgency.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on February 25 that cricket can be used as a "platform" for a dialogue with the Taliban, who "follow the Pakistan cricket team with keen interest."

The Taliban has not responded.

The minister made the remarks following an exhibition cricket match in Islamabad.

Pakistan's government entered peace talks with the Taliban earlier this month, but the process halted after the militants executed 23 kidnapped soldiers.

Cricket is hugely popular in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is an avid cricket fan, and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan now leads Pakistan's third-largest political party.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, "Express-Tribune," "Dawn," and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

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