The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says five of its diplomats have lost their lives in the massive bomb explosion that ripped through a guesthouse in the troubled southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
The slain diplomats have been identified as 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, according to the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.
The victims were reportedly in the violence-wracked country to inaugurate a number of UAE-backed humanitarian projects there.
Emirati Prime Minister, Vice President and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has strongly condemned the bombing in a post published on his official Twitter account, saying, “There is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help” others.
The UAE Foreign Ministry has also issued a statement, stressing that it is following up on the “heinous terrorist attack” and has set up a special operations room in conjunction with UAE armed forces and the Afghan government.
At least 11 people, including Kandahar’s deputy governor Abdul Ali Shamsi, lost their lives and 16 others sustained injuries when a powerful bomb explosion struck the heavily-guarded governor’s compound on Tuesday evening.
Yama Quraishi, an Afghan diplomat in the United States, was also among those killed.