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Pakistani working in Iranian consulate shot, killed

By Reza Sayah, CNN
  • Abu Hassan Jaffri, director of pubic relations at the consulate, was on his way to work
  • Iran's consul general says shooting was "plot by the enemies of Iran and Pakistan"
  • Suicide bombings have increased tensions between Iran, Pakistan
  • Pakistan
  • Iran

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A Pakistani working for the Iranian Consulate was shot and killed in the northwestern part of the country Thursday, police said.

Abu Hassan Jaffri, the director of pubic relations at the consulate, was on his way to work in the city of Peshawar when at least one gunman opened fire, a police official said.

Iran's ambassador to Pakistan, Mashallah Shakeri, confirmed the incident, Iran's government-funded Press TV reported.

Iran's consul general, Abbas-Ali Abdollahi, said the official was killed by two motorcycle riders who escaped after the shooting, Press TV said.

Abdollahi condemned the attack, saying it was a "plot by the enemies of Iran and Pakistan" aimed at straining the relations between the two countries, the network reported.

Tension between the neighbors increased last month after a massive suicide bombing in Iran killed at least 42 people, including a number of senior Revolutionary Guard officers.

Iran blamed the attack -- which took place near its border with Pakistan -- on Jundallah, a rebel group, and accused Pakistan of harboring the group's leader. Pakistan denied it.

Only days after the attack, Pakistan arrested a number of Iranian security officers who it said had strayed into Pakistan.

In recent days, Peshawar -- the capital of the North West Frontier province -- has repeatedly come under attack as Islamic militants have retaliated against an army offensive to rout them from their havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

On Tuesday, a suicide car bomber struck a congested traffic circle outside Peshawar, killing at least 26 people -- including children -- and wounding 60.

The blast happened in Charsadda, which is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) north of Peshawar.

The attack happened just as Charsadda District Police Chief Mohammed Riaz Khan was leaving the area, and Khan said he thought his two-car convoy was the target of the attack.

In addition, a suicide bomb at a police checkpoint on Peshawar's Ring Road killed at least three people Monday, and a suicide car bomb killed 17 people in the city Sunday, including an area mayor.

On October 28, a massive car bomb tore through the heart of a bustling marketplace in Peshawar, killing at least 100 people and wounding at least 200.