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Afghanistan: Pakistan Closes Kabul Embassy After Attack

Kabul, 8 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Pakistan closed its embassy in Kabul today after it was attacked by a crowd protesting alleged incursions by Pakistani forces into Afghanistan. In the latest protests against Pakistan, hundreds of Afghan university students broke into the Pakistani Embassy compound today, smashing windows, computers, and televisions before being chased out by police.

Pakistan's ambassador, Rustam Shah Mohmand, accused the Afghan government of doing nothing to thwart the attack. He said the embassy will remain closed until Pakistan receives an apology and compensation for the damage.

"I have closed the mission. Unless the Afghan government compensates, number one, unless the Afghan government apologizes, number two, unless the Afghan government gives tangible, concrete guarantees for the protection of the mission in the future, the mission will remain closed," he said.

Mohmand said Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai incited the protests by warning yesterday against outside interference in Afghan affairs and demanding an explanation from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for his criticism of the Afghan government.

In another demonstration today, some 1,000 people marched through Kabul to protest the alleged Pakistani incursions.

Pakistan denies its troops have crossed into Afghanistan. But both countries have confirmed that there have been exchanges of fire across the border.