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Body of Czech ambassador arrives in Prague

September 24, 2008

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PRAGUE, Sept 23: The body of Czech ambassador to Pakistan Ivo Zdarek, who was killed in the suicide bomb attack on Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel, arrived at Prague’s airport on Monday, Czech media reported.

A brief ceremony paying homage to the 47-year-old father of two, who reportedly died trying to help wounded victims escape the hotel, was held on the tarmac alongside his coffin draped with the blue, red and white Czech flag.

“We are all very saddened, we always appreciated the ambassador’s work considerably,” Czech President Vaclav Klaus said at the ceremony also attended by Zdarek’s family and Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

A suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with more than half a tonne of explosives into the security gates of the luxury hotel on Saturday evening, killing at least 53 people and wounding more than 260 in a massive fireball.

Zdarek took up the ambassador’s post in Islamabad just last month, and had been living in the hotel.—AFP