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Militants Kill 6 Aid Workers in Pakistan's Northwest


Pakistani security officials inspect a damaged building of a U.S.-based Christian charity after a militant attack near the town of Oghi in the Mansehra district of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), 10 Mar 2010

Pakistani security officials inspect a damaged building of a U.S.-based Christian charity after a militant attack near the town of Oghi in the Mansehra district of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), 10 Mar 2010

Pakistani police say militants have attacked the office of a Christian aid group in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, killing six people and wounding several others.

Police say the assailants threw grenades and opened fire at a World Vision office in the town of Oghi in Mansehra district Wednesday. World Vision identified those killed as Pakistani employees of the agency. Police say two women were among the dead.

Officials in Mansehra say police exchanged fire with the attackers, who later fled the scene. A World Vision employee told the French news agency he was inside the building when 15 militants stormed in and shot his colleagues.

In other news, Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed at least four people in a northwest tribal region.

The strike took place in Mizarkhel village, some 50 kilometers west of Miranshah, the main town in the tribal North Waziristan district.

In Mansehra, a Pakistani police chief told VOA militants use bases in the nearby tribal region of Kala Dhaka to launch attacks on aid groups and government facilities.

Mansehra district has been a hub for international relief efforts for survivors of the October 2005 earthquake that killed 75,000 people.

The U.S.-based World Vision is one of the world's largest and well-funded Christian aid groups. The group says it has helped more than 100,000 Pakistanis through its earthquake relief efforts.

Militants have attacked aid workers in the Mansehra district before. In 2008, gunmen raided the local office of the British-run aid group Plan International and killed four of its Pakistani staff members.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has extended the term of the head of the country's main intelligence agency. The prime minister's office said Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha was due to retire this month, but will remain director general of the military's Inter-Services Intelligence for another year.



Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

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