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6 Dead as Gunmen Attack Christian School in Pakistan - 2002-08-05

Unknown gunmen in Pakistan have attacked a Christian school, killing at least six people.

The daylight attack took place near the town of Murree, about 40 kilometers northeast of the Pakistani capital. Witnesses say gunmen carrying automatic weapons stormed the gates of the Christian school and then fled the scene.

Two security guards, a receptionist and a cook at the school are among the dead. Several others are said to have been injured in the attack. School authorities say that all 150 students, including Americans, and the mostly-British staff are unharmed.

Many boarding schools and army installations are situated in and around the mountain resort of Murree.

Pakistani authorities say it is too soon to say who is behind the shooting, which involved at least three masked gunmen. "Obviously the expatriate population was the target," said Tasneem Noorani, Pakistan's interior secretary. "Unfortunately the people who participated [in the attack] have escaped. So therefore while we investigate, I think it will take sometime to find out who actually did it."

Monday's attack was the second in Pakistan this year involving a Christian target. In March, an unknown man threw grenades into an international church in Islamabad, killing five people. The wife and daughter of an American diplomat were among the dead.

Pakistan's cooperation in the U.S.-led war against terrorism has outraged hard-line Islamic groups in the country. They have threatened to strike American and other western interests in retaliation for Pakistan's support in the anti-terrorism war.