JAKARTA: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday denounced the “cowardly” attack against US consulate personnel in Pakistan and praised local authorities’ response to the scene.
Clinton, on a visit to Jakarta shortly after the bombing in Peshawar, said that she wanted to “very clearly condemn the attack on our consulate personnel”.
“We deplore the cowardly act of suicide bombing and terrorist attacks that have affected so many people around the world and which we must all stand against,” she told reporters.
Clinton declined to speculate on the perpetrators but was quick to praise the response of authorities in Pakistan, whose strategic partnership with the United States has repeatedly been plunged into crisis in recent years.
“The information I have is that the Pakistani authorities responded very appropriately,” she said.
Clinton, in line with earlier US accounts, said that both US citizens and Pakistanis employed at the consulate were injured when a suicide bomber rammed into their van.
She said that some of the injured had been airlifted to hospitals in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Earlier Monday, the US Charge d’affaires Ambassador in Islamabad, Richard Hoagland, praised the “humane professionalism of the local Pakistani security forces” for saving the lives of the consulate’s American and Pakistani staff by “pulling them to safety after their vehicle was attacked.”
“In this dangerous world where terrorists can strike at any moment, we must all work together – Pakistanis and Americans alike – because we have a strong mutual interest in defeating terrorism,” said Hoagland in a statement released by the US Embassy.