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Soviet Military Attache Slain in Islamabad

September 16, 1986

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ A gunman who officials said has a history of mental illness killed a Soviet military attache Tuesday as the diplomat’s wife and 11-year-old daughter watched.

The assailant was captured by passers-by and turned over to police after he shot Col. Fedor I. Gorenkov, a Soviet deputy military attache for air and naval matters, Pakistani officials said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the attacker as Zafar Ahmed. They said that he had been trying to emigrate to the Soviet Union and that the killing had no political overtones.

″The villainous crime was committed when he (Gorenkov) was driving home from the embassy,″ the official Soviet news agency Tass said in a report monitored in Moscow. ″The assailant flagged down his car two kilometers (1 1/ 4 miles) from the Soviet Embassy and, when Gorenkov opened a window, shot him with a pistol.″

It was the second killing of a diplomat in Pakistan this week. A bomb killed an Iraqi diplomat on Sunday in the southern city of Karachi, and the Iraqi Embassy accused Iran of being behind the attack. Iran denied the charge.

Ahmed was often at the Soviet Embassy and was known to Gorenkov, Pakistani officials said. They said that in recent years, Ahmed had twice been hospitalized for psychiatric problems in his home city of Lahore.

The Soviet Embassy reported Gorenkov’s wife and daughter were in shock but were not injured.

There were no signs of increased security at the walled Soviet Embassy compound Tuesday night.

Soviet Embassy officials declined to speculate on the motive for the attack or give any further information. ″Things are not clear,″ said one diplomat, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Soviet diplomats who had seen Ahmed near the Soviet Embassy said he was also often seen near the U.S. Embassy. But U.S. diplomats said they did not know the man.

No formal charges were filed immediately against Ahmed, who was being questioned by senior police and intelligence officials.

The Pakistani government, in a message to the Soviet Union, conveyed its ″deep regret and sorrow.″ The message also condemned what it called the ″dastardly crime.″

Update hourly