Saudi Arabia is set to tighter security around all its missions in Pakistan following the assassination in Karachi on Monday of one of its diplomats by suspected al-Qaeda elements.

A spokesman of the Saudi interior ministry, Mansour Al-Turki said in a statement that in the light of the assassination of one of its diplomats, Hassan Misfer Al-Qahtani, Riyadh would now review the “security of Saudi diplomatic missions in Pakistan with a view to ensuring adequate protection to diplomats, staff and their dependents”.

In Islamabad, interior minister Rehman Malik held Al Qaeda responsible for the Saudi diplomat’s slaying.

“Undoubtedly Al-Qaeda has had a role in the assassination of the Saudi diplomat," Iran’s Fars News Agency quoted Mr. Malik as saying. Analysts point out that the assassination of the Saudi diplomat could be seen as an act of assertion by Al Qaeda, following the killing in Pakistan of Osama bin Laden, the head of the organisation. Al Qaeda has since the end of the former Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, targeted the House of Saud, because of its close military ties with the Americans.

On Wednesday, circles close to Al Qaeda announced the name of Saif el Adal as the group’s new head. Observers say that Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri and Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, is likely assist el Adel, an

Egyptian, to organise operations to avenge bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad on May 2 by U.S. Navy Seals.

In Riyadh, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi monarch telephoned Al Qahtani’s father to convey his condolences, Saudi daily Arab News reported. Saudi assistant foreign minister, Prince Khalid bin Saud bin Khalid has been quoted as saying that Pakistan would play a “primary role” in the investigating of the crime. However, a panel of Saudi officials, whenever required, could join the Pakistani investigating team.

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