Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 8, 2017

Newsline: North Korea assassination suspects barricaded in embassy in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s police chief says at least two suspects in the nerve agent assassination of Kim Jong-nam are holed up in North Korea’s barricaded embassy in Kuala Lumpur and police would wait as long as necessary to arrest them. “If it takes five years we will wait outside,” declared Khalid Abu Bakar, adding “definitely somebody will come out.” The United Nations has called for calm after North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving the country, prompting Malaysia to ban North Koreans leaving Malaysia in a rarely seen diplomatic meltdown over Mr Kim’s killing at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13.  Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak strongly condemned North Korea’s ban on Tuesday, saying it is “effectively holding our citizens hostage.”



Newsline: Gunmen storm military hospital near US Embassy in Kabul

Gunmen stormed a military hospital in Afghanistan’s capital Wednesday, killing at least four people and wounding more than 60, setting off clashes with security forces that were still underway hours later. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said gunmen entered the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital after an explosion and gunfire. The 400-bed military hospital is located near two civilian hospitals in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of Kabul, which is also home to several embassies, including that of the U.S. The attack began when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the rear of the hospital and three attackers with automatic weapons and hand grenades entered the complex, a security official told the Reuters news agency. The gunmen, dressed as medical personnel, took positions on the hospital’s upper floors and battled special forces sent to the scene, officials told Reuters. As fighting went on, a second explosion was heard inside, Reuters added.