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French aid agency team attacked near Kohat

19 February, 2014

PESHAWAR: Gunman on a motocycle fired on a vehicle being used by French aid organisation ACTED on Tuesday in troubled northwestern Pakistan, wounding the driver, police said.

The attack took place at Jarma, a low-income neighbourhood on the outskirts of the garrison town of Kohat, where thousands of displaced tribesmen from the Khyber and Orakzai tribal district as well as Afghan refugees are living.

District police chief Saleem Khan Marwat said staff from ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development) were fired at by a man who fled on a motorcycle.

There were two staff members, both Pakistanis, and a driver in the vehicle and the driver was shot in the arm. His condition is stable at hospital, Marwat said. An official of the NGO in Pakistan confirmed the details of the attack.

ACTED was working to improve sanitation and hygiene for displaced families.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack. But Taliban militants target aid and charity organisations, accusing them of following foreign agendas.

Foreign-funded NGOs are viewed with particular suspicion after the arrest of a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign.

Pakistani troops have for years been battling homegrown insurgents in the tribal belt, which Washington considers the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

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