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September 18, 2019
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Pakistan closes consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday closed its consulate in the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e-Sharif after a woman tried to take a hand grenade into the premises.

The Foreign Office said that a woman tried to take hand grenade into the consulate which was concealed in her personal bag.

Afghan security personnel took the woman into custody by the Afghan authorities. A probe into the incident is underway.

After the incident, Pakistan urged the Afghan government to provide foolproof security to the consulate. Islamabad also sought the findings of the investigation into the incident be shared with it.

The consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif will remain closed for visa services until the provision of foolproof security by the authorities to prevent any untoward incident from happening in the future.

The incident comes a day after the United State negotiators and the Afghan Taliban admitted “progress on vital issues” in their talks in Qatar, albeit the insurgents said there was no agreement on ceasefire or talks with the Afghan government, which they deride as an American puppet.