KARACHI - An Afghan guard with a “personal grudge” shot dead a junior diplomat inside the Afghan consulate in Karachi on Monday, police said.

“The guard, Rehmat Ullah, opened fire on a junior diplomat [Afghan Third Secretary at the Consulate] Mohammad Zaki Uro, killing him on the spot and wounding another consulate official,” senior police official Azad Khan said.

The incident took place inside the lobby of the consulate while the murderer was also an Afghan national who was arrested by police.

“The guard used his automatic weapon, firing multiple bullets,” police official Saqib Ismail said.

Paramilitary Rangers and a heavy police contingent surrounded the consulate immediately after the attack amid fears of a possible extremist assault.

“There was nothing of the sort [of terrorism] and it seems the guard had some sort of personal grudge with the diplomat,” Azad Khan said. “We have found there was a history of tensions between the two persons.”

The consulate is located in Karachi’s upscale Clifton neighbourhood. The missions of Indonesia, the United Kingdom and France are nearby.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy.

A strategic operation in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry issued a statement identifying the murdered diplomat as Muhammad Zaki Abdu. “Police authorities immediately intervened to minimise further loss of life,” read the statement.

Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal described the shooting on his official Facebook account.

“Firing inside Afg Consulate General in Karachi at around 12:30 pm today ... has been carried out by an Afghan guard inside the compound resulting in fatality of one of our diplomats,” he wrote.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry Monday phoned Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal to express condolences to Afghan government over the killing of Afghan diplomat.

The foreign secretary assured full assistance in conducting the necessary investigations into the matter, foreign office in a press release said.