WASHINGTON, Sept 5: The US State Department has confirmed that the FBI is leading the probe into a suicide car bomb attack on an American diplomatic car in Peshawar that killed two people.

“The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading that investigation,” the State Department’s deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell told a news briefing in Washington, while noting that so far no one had claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We deplore this cowardly act of suicide bombing and terrorism that took the lives of Pakistanis and indeed injured two of our personnel,” but “we’re not going to speculate at this period on who may be responsible,” he said.

Officials in Peshawar told reporters on Wednesday that an FBI team had already reached Pakistan to lead the probe and it would work with Pakistani investigators to determine who was behind the attack.

On Monday, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a US consulate vehicle, killing two people and causing serious injuries to others.

Both the victims were Pakistani employees of the consulate while the injured included two Americans.

Explaining why the US had to send the FBI team to Peshawar, Mr Ventrell said: “When you have US personnel involved, we do our own investigation, but we’ll absolutely be collaborating with our Pakistani partners.”

He noted that Pakistani law-enforcement authorities had acted promptly to protect the consulate employees.

“We commend the bravery of Pakistani security officials who saved lives, including the lives of our two personnel,” he said. “So we’re thankful to them.”

Noting that Pakistan too was holding an investigation into the attack, the US official said: “Obviously we’ll work with them. But the FBI will lead an American piece of our own investigation.”

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