Attack on Christian missionary school leaves six dead<br>By Robin Fernandez and Moazzam


ISLAMABAD: Gunmen on Monday shot dead six people in a Christian missionary school near the resort town of Murree, some 30 kilometers from the Pakistani capital. Several other persons were injured in the attack, which, school workers and local officia

A spokesman for the Murree Christian School counted three school workers including a retired teacher and Two security guards among the dead. A passerby was also shot dead. All the schoolchildren and members of the teaching staff are safe, the spokesman said. Built in 1956, Murree Christian School serves mainly the children of missionary parents who rely on the Institution to provide "security, family and a good education". By its own admission, the Church of Scotland-owned school and boarding facility, allows the missionaries to witness and work in situations Which are both difficult and dangerous. Doctors at a civil hospital in Murree have so far only Confirmed five deaths. Dr Iffat Rabbani said her hospital had received five bodies and was providing treatment to two men who were injured in the attack. This is the third fatal attack on Christian targets in Pakistan since October 2001. In the first attack 16 people Meanwhile From Rawalpindi the PCP correspondents Moazzam have reported that that six have been mercilessly killed and several injured when militants opened gunfire on Christian school prayers on comments from Professor Salamat Akhter PCC senior vice president and Chairman PCC Punjab Council have condemned the terrorist attack on Christians and demanded the immediate arrest of killers. Meanwhile AP adds from Islamabad that ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Five unidentified gunmen stormed the gates of a Christian school in a popular mountain resort Monday, killing at least six people and wounding two others before escaping. The attack occurred at the Murree Christian School in Murree Hills, about 35 miles north of Islamabad in the Himalayan foothills. The school was founded in 1956 to train the children of missionaries here and in neighboring countries. A statement by the school said there had been ``several deaths and injuries'' but all students and expatriate staff were safe. One female missionary suffered an injury to her hand, the school said. Police official Mohammed Maqbool said officers exchanged fire with the attackers for about 20 minutes before the gunmen fled. Witnesses said they later saw bodies being taken from the scene. Federal officials in Islamabad said they did not know the identities or the motive of the attackers. The dead were identified as two security guards, two school employees, one unknown person and a retired teacher who was at the school to collect his pension. It was the third fatal attack against Christian institutions in this predominantly Muslim country since President Pervez Musharraf joined the U.S.-led war against terrorism last year. Sixteen people were killed in October when gunmen opened fire on a Protestant congregation in the city of Behawalpur. On March 17, an attacker hurled grenades into a Protestant congregation in Islamabad's diplomatic enclave, killing himself and four others, including an American woman and her 17-year-old Mr. Mike Midkiff, an educationist. long time serving in Pakistan and now in Indiana have showed his grave concern and said that the news from Murree and the Christian School there, is sickening. My having taught at Lahore American School for 4 years and having coached the middle-school boys basketball teams, we had many, many contacts with the dedicated Christian staff and students at Murree Christian School. Such dedication to their faith and to children...I've seldom witnessed. What a horrible shame that this will probably spell the end (for a long, long time) to a school with such a long tradition of service. What harm did these peaceful persons do to their wrathful neighbors? To their intolerant, ignorant, and vengeful neighbors? All they wanted to do was to have a place of peace where they could impart their gospel message, as well as an outstanding education, to innocent children. Could the messangers of hate let this continue? Obviously not. Let us all pray that this kind of activity (e.g. targeting innocent Christians at their places of worship and schooling) does not become a national trend. However, we cannot "turn-tail" and run away. If that happens then the hate-mongers win and truth and goodness lose.

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