Pakistan aid groups workers killed

2013-01-02 21:43
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Peshawar - Aid groups on Wednesday demanded greater protection in Pakistan amid concerns of a new spike in violence after seven charity workers were shot dead and their organisation suspended operations.

The six women - five of them teachers and one a health visitor - and a male health technician were ambushed by gunmen on motorbikes on Tuesday as they were returning from a community centre in north-western district Swabi.

They were buried on Wednesday. A 4-year-old boy was spared when the gunmen removed him from the same vehicle before spraying it with gunfire, police said.

The attack - which has not been claimed - adds to fears that charity workers are increasingly vulnerable, particularly in the northwest which is badly affected by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence.

The charity, Support With Working Solution, has temporarily suspended its operations, police told AFP.

"The NGO has suspended its activities for three days to mourn the deaths. They will decide after three days whether to start work again or not," said Abdul Rashid Khan, the police chief of Swabi.

The organisation runs dozens of health and education projects, including polio vaccinations, in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Health and education programmes, particularly those for girls, are seen as being at particular risk.

Last month, nine polio vaccine workers were shot dead in a string of incidents, forcing UN agencies to suspend a immunisation campaign, and there are now concerns about a record number of deaths from measles in the south.

On Wednesday, an umbrella organisation of around 200 charities in the northwest demanded better protection, but vowed to continue working in order not to encourage "those who are opposed to progress".

"We have to stand up and foil the nefarious designs of anti-state elements who are bent upon destroying the fabric of civil society. We all have to strengthen our voice otherwise we will perish," said the Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network.

It demanded government protection for charity workers "vulnerable to the menace of terrorism" but some charity workers express doubt about government capacity.

On 22 December, Bashir Bilour, a senior minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and eight others were killed in a suicide attack on a political meeting claimed by the Taliban.

"How can a state protect its people if it can't protect its ministers?" asked Imran Takkar, programme manager of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child.

Islamabad says more than 35 000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the US.

Imtiaz Iltaf, police chief of Peshawar, said officers were preparing a strategy to protect aid workers.

"We are in a state of war. The whole country is facing an insurgency, so we are revising the present security steps and working on a new strategy," he said.

Read more on:    pakistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.