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‘Indian origin’ man arrested in shooting of US diplomat in Mexico

New York: A man who may be of Indian origin has been arrested in connection with the shooting of a US consular official in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, according to reports in local media there.

Zafar Zia, the alleged assailant, was described in Mexican media as a 31-year-old American citizen of “Indian” or “Hindu” origin. Impacto el Diario newspaper’s web site said that the Jalisco state prosecutor’s confirmed his arrestAon Sunday on its Twitter account.

The shooting on Friday was not terrorism-related but was motivated by a visa issue, as per the victim’s statement to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reported Cronica.com.

Mexican media also reported that the Foreign Ministry said that Zia “will be expelled and repatriated to the United States of America where his legal status will be determined.”

US authorities have not as of Monday morning local time confirmed the arrested man’s identity or that of the diplomat who was shot. Mexican media identified the victim as Deputy Consul Christopher Ashcraft.

Impacto el Diario and El Mudo described Zia as being of “Hindu” origin, while the Cronica.com said he was “Indian.” In Mexico sometimes “Hindu” and “Indian” used interchangeably as national identification, rather than religious.

Cronica said that “according to unofficial information” from Mexican federal authorities, a .38 caliber pistol, a California-registered 2000 Honda Accord vehicle, and 16 packages with 336 grammes of marijuana were seized when Zia was arrested from the Guadalajara’s Providencia neighborhood.

He was also carrying a wig he wore when he carried out the attack, Cronica added.

Mexican media said that the he was arrested after police received a tip about where he was. The US government had offered a $20,000 reward for his arrest.

Police said that Zia had arrived in Guadalajara from Phoenix in the US’s Arizona state in November, according to Cronica.

Zia allegedly shot the diplomat while he was driving out of a parking garage on his way to gym, according to media reports.
IANS