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American charged with attempted murder of U.S. diplomat in Mexico

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. citizen was charged with the attempted murder of an American diplomat stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

Zia Zafar, 31, of Chino Hills, California, made an appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday after being deported from Mexico to the United States and arrested on Monday, the department said in a statement.

He was charged with one count of attempted murder of an internationally protected person in the shooting on Friday, it said.

Zafar disguised himself and followed the vice consul through a parking garage to his car and then shot him once in the chest as he drove toward the exit, according to the criminal complaint cited by the Justice Department.

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The diplomat remained hospitalized on Tuesday, the department said.

A video posted online by the consulate in Guadalajara shows the shooter appearing to wait for the official's car to pull up to a car park barrier before shooting directly at the driver and running away.

Court papers did not provide a motive for the shooting.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Eric Walsh and Tom Brown)

 
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