Gunmen Kill Saudi Diplomat in Pakistan
Karachi shooting tied to recent grenade attack on consulate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 16, 2011 8:15 AM CDT
Troops of a Pakistani para-military force stand guard outside the Saudi consulate in Karachi, Pakistan on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.   (Fareed Khan)
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(Newser) – Gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Saudi diplomat as he was driving in Pakistan's largest city today, just days after two hand grenades were tossed at the Saudi consulate, police in Karachi said. The diplomat, who was a member of the security staff at the consulate, was alone and appeared to be on his way to work, said police. The motive for the attack was not clear, but it comes against a backdrop of tensions between Islam's Sunni and Shiite branches, both in the Middle East and in Pakistan.

A police officer says the shooting, which involved a 9 mm pistol, was carried out by two men and appears to be linked to last week's grenade attack on the mission, which caused some damage but no injuries. Saudi Arabia has funded hardline Sunni groups in Pakistan for years, angering its minority Shiites. Meanwhile, Iran has channeled money to Shiite groups, and in the 1980s and 1990s the country was the scene of an effective proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.