Pakistan – Taliban Kills Three Foreign Christian Aid Workers‏

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan  (Compass Direct News) – Authorities on Wednesday (Aug. 25) recovered the bodies of three Christian relief workers who had been kidnapped and killed by members of the Pakistani Taliban in the flood-ravaged country, area officials said. Swat District Coordination Officer Atif-ur-Rehman told Compass that the Pakistan Army recovered the bodies of the three foreign flood-relief workers at about 7 a.m. on Wednesday. An official at the international humanitarian organization that employed the workers withheld their names and requested that the agency remain unnamed for security reasons. Military sources who withheld news of the deaths from electronic and print media to avoid panicking other relief workers granted permission to Compass to publish it in limited form. “The foreigner aid workers have been working in Mingora and the surrounding areas,” Rehman said. “On Aug. 23 they were returning to their base at around 5:35 p.m. when a group of Taliban attacked their vehicle. They injured around five-six people and kidnapped three foreign humanitarian workers.” Pakistan has been hit by its worst flooding in decades, with the United Nations now estimating more than 21.8 million people have been affected. An army Inter-Services Public Relations source said rangers have been deployed in Swat and other potential target areas to help provide security for relief workers. “The Taliban had warned about attacks on foreigner aid workers and Christian organizations,” the ISPR source said. Advocacy organizations have complained of alleged discrimination against minorities in distribution of humanitarian aid in Punjab Province.  “It is discouraging to see that the Christian organizations are wholeheartedly supporting the victims regardless of the religion or race, but in most of the areas the Christians are totally ignored and not even allowed to stay,” said Kashif Mazhar, vice president of advocacy organization Life for All.

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