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US diplomat survives attempt on life

world Updated: Aug 26, 2008 18:55 IST
Senior US diplomat in Pak survives attempt on life

A top US diplomat on Tuesday escaped unhurt in an attack by unidentified gunmen while she was going to office in her armoured vehicle in Pakistan's restive northwestern region.

Lynne Tracy, Principal Officer in the US Consulate in Peshawar, was attacked by the gunmen in the University Town area of the capital of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), police said.

Tracy escaped unhurt in the attack, which was condemned by the Foreign Ministry. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police said the gunmen ambushed the vehicle of the US Consulate as soon as it emerged from the residence of Tracy and sprayed its with bullets. Three bullets hit the vehicle, which was slightly damaged in the attack.

The driver of Tracy's bulletproof car managed to divert it to the other road and succeeded in taking away the US diplomat unhurt from the scene, police said.

The under fire US Consulate vehicle also hit a rickshaw, injuring its driver who was shifted to a nearby hospital, the state-run APP news agency reported.

The gunmen fled from the scene after the incident. NWFP's police chief Malik Naveed said an inquiry have been ordered into the incident.

The Foreign Ministry said the authorities were in contact with American officials and the incident was being investigated.

"Steps for enhanced security have been taken," it said in a statement here. "The government is committed to ensuring all possible measures for the security of the diplomatic community."

In a brief statement, the US Consulate later said there was "a security incident in Peshawar this morning involving a US consulate vehicle and three employees."

"There were no injuries and minimal damage to the vehicle. We are coordinating with Pakistani authorities investigating the incident," it said.

The northwestern province in recent times has witnessed a surge in violence blamed on Taliban, which was yesterday banned by the government.