News / Asia

    7 Aid Workers Gunned Down in Pakistan

    An injured driver (in white) who survived a shooting by unidentified gunmen in Swabi, arrives at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, January 1, 2013.
    An injured driver (in white) who survived a shooting by unidentified gunmen in Swabi, arrives at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, January 1, 2013.
    VOA News
    Gunmen have ambushed a vehicle carrying Pakistani aid workers, killing seven people in northwest Pakistan.
     
    A spokesman for the Pakistani NGO Support With Working Solutions, Mohammad Rafiq, said six of the victims were women.  One male health worker was killed and the driver was wounded in the shooting.
     
    The aid workers were on their way home when their vehicles were ambushed by gunmen on motorcycles Tuesday in the Swabi district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, about 75 kilometers northwest of Islamabad.  
     
    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.  The NGO spokesman said the workers had not been threatened before and this was the first time such an incident had taken place.
     
    Support With Working Solutions director Javed Akhtar later told reporters the aid workers may have been targeted for the charity's efforts to help vaccinate children against polio.  The charity has been operating in the region for the past two decades.
     
    Last month, nine polio vaccination workers were killed in attacks throughout Pakistan.  The killings prompted the United Nations to halt work on the nationwide vaccination campaign.
     
    In southern Pakistan on Tuesday, authorities say a bomb blast ripped through Karachi, killing at least four people and wounding at least 41 others.  The explosion took place in the port city's Aisha Manzil area. 
     
    Police say the bomb was planted on a motorcycle close to the site of a political rally.  It is unclear who was targeted in the blast.
     
    Karachi, the country's economic hub, has seen both sectarian and militant violence.

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