Aid agencies suspend work in Pakistan

June 6, 2004 at 1:51 PM
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QUETTA, Pakistan, June 6 (UPI) -- International relief agencies suspended their operations in southern Pakistan Sunday following terror threats.

A Pakistani government agency responsible for security at Afghan refugee camps warned international aid groups that Taliban supporters were planning suicide attacks against them.

The warning, also sent to U.N. agencies operating in Pakistan's southern Balochistan province, said a Taliban commander hiding in Balochistan was behind the plot.

The letter said the terrorists were particularly keen on targeting organizations that employed U.S. and British citizens.

The U.N. and international relief agencies in Balochistan acted immediately after receiving the warning and withdrew their staff to a hotel in the provincial capital, Quetta, which is guarded by Pakistani troops.

Groups that have temporarily halted work in Balochistan include the United Nations refugee agency and Medicines San Frontieres, an international aid agency. Last week, Medicines San Frontieres suspended its activities in neighboring Afghanistan following a terrorist attack that killed four aid workers.

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