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26 May 2024

Gunmen attack British aid group office in northwest Pakistan, killing four staff members

By Agencies
Armed men attacked the office of a British-based aid group in northern Pakistan, killing four local staff members, officials said.

Plan International said up to 12 assailants entered its office in Mansehra Monday and opened fired indiscriminately before setting off three explosions. The office was burned to the ground, the group said in a statement.

Police and the aid group said four people were killed. Muhammad Niaz, a senior doctor at MansehraÕs hospital, said another eight people were injured.

The aid group and local police said the identity of the attackers and their motive were unclear.

Mansehra lies about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the capital, Islamabad, and is not an area associated with the Islamic militancy concentrated in areas farther west.

Police official Attaullah Wazir said officers had chased the attackers into a local forest and that the two sides were exchanging gunfire.

Plan International said it would halt its operations in Pakistan.

The aid group, which focuses on the welfare of children, said it had worked in Mansehra for more than a decade. It was also involved in providing relief to people affected by the massive 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan. (AP)