'Afghan plot to murder UK ambassador foiled'


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The Independent Online

A plot to assassinate the former British ambassador to Afghanistan was foiled, the UK's current representative in Kabul has said.

US investigators suspect the ex-governor of Kapisa Province in the north of the country, Ghulam Qawis Abu Bakr, of involvement in the November 2009 plan to kill Mark Sedwill and his American and French counterparts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sir William Patey, the outgoing British ambassador to Afghanistan, said there was "some credibility" to the story.

Speaking via video-link from Kabul, he said: "My understanding is that there was at the time some intelligence that there was a plot to kill the three ambassadors, and appropriate action was taken at the time to avoid (them) being assassinated."

He added: "I don't think there was ever sufficient evidence to initiate a prosecution against the governor, but I know that governor was subsequently removed by President (Hamid) Karzai."

Mr Abu Bakr denies the allegations, his son-in-law told the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Sedwill, who is now the UK's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, made light of the failed plot on his life.

Referring to Sir William's recent appearance in an Afghan television comedy programme, he wrote on Twitter: "Great! Tale of 2 UK Ambassadors! They tried to kill me and made Patey a TV star!"