30/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 01:02

World Vision office in Pakistan attacked killing at least 6 people

Category: Headlines

Published: 10th Mar 2010 15:00:00

At least six people are reported to have been killed after the office of a Western aid agency was targeted by gunmen.

World Vision, a Christian organisation which works with some of the world's most vulnerable people, was attacked by unidentified gunmen in the Mansehra distroct of Pakistan.

The international humanitarian organisation said it was seeking to confirm reports that gunmen first set off bombs or grenades, then opened fire on the office, located 65 kilometres north of the capital, Islamabad.

Reports claim two of the victims are Pakistani women, while local police said grenades were thrown into the offices of the non-government organisation (NGO). No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, though it widely believed to have been undertaken by Islamist extremists.

Rienk van Velzen, World Vision's regional communications director, told AFP by telephone from the Netherlands that all staff in the office were Pakistani.

"The sad news is that five local colleagues were killed - three male and two female. We have seven colleagues injured... one is missing," he said.

A statement from the NGO said: "World Vision today is mourning the senseless deaths of six members of staff in the Mansehra District of Pakistan after an unprovoked attack by gunmen.

"In addition to those killed, seven employees are hospitalised with injuries and one staff member is missing. No threatening letters were received prior to the attack.

"World Vision’s relief and development work in Pakistan is conducted by local citizens. All of World Vision’s operations in the country have been suspended indefinitely.

"World Vision remembers those staff who have died as dedicated people seeking to improve the lives of people affected by poverty and disasters."

Since 1992, World Vision has primarily focused on relief interventions in Pakistan. After the devastating October 2005 earthquake, World Vision expanded its operations in Pakistan.

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