ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed on Wednesday that five of its diplomats had been killed in a bombing in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.
The UAE’s death toll in the attack, which occurred on Tuesday in Kandahar and killed at least 11 people, made it the highest such attack on the federation’s diplomatic corps.
Officials of the country said that it would immediately fly the nation's flag at half-mast for three days in honour of the dead.
The Taliban have denied planting the bomb in the Kandahar attack, which also wounded the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, who also serves as the UAE’s prime minister and vice president, stated on Twitter that "there is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help".
Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said the attack wouldn't stop the UAE's humanitarian efforts. "We will not be discouraged by despicable terrorist acts carried out by the forces of evil and darkness," he tweeted.
The Kandahar attack targeted Provincial Governor Homayun Azizi’s guesthouse. The governor and UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi were also wounded in the assault.
Kandahar Police Chief General Abdul Razeq, who was near the site at the time of the incident but escaped unharmed, confirmed that the attack killed 11 people and wounded 18.