Wednesday, March 10, 2010

US aid group attacked in NW Pakistan; 6 dead

clipped from
Map locates Mansehra, Pakistan, where a suicide bomber struck World Vision, a

ISLAMABAD – Suspected militants armed with assault rifles and a homemade bomb attacked the offices of a U.S.-based Christian aid group helping earthquake survivors in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six Pakistani employees, police and the organization said.

The assault prompted World Vision, a major international humanitarian group, to suspend its operations in Pakistan. Other aid organizations condemned the attack but said it would not lead them to curtail their own activities.

Extremists have killed other foreign aid group employees in Pakistan and accused such organizations of working against Islam, greatly hampering efforts to raise living standards in the desperately poor region. Many groups have already scaled down operations in the northwest or pulled out altogether.

"It was a brutal and senseless attack," said Dean Owen, World Vision spokesman in Seattle, Washington. "It was completely unexpected, unannounced and unprovoked."

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