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Bomb attack halts Pakistan aid work

Aid work has ground to a halt in north western Pakistan after two suicide bombers killed more than 40 people and wounded at least 60 at a camp for homeless people.About 41people died in Saturday’s attack on the Kacha Pakha camp just outside Kohat city in north western Pakistan on Saturday.  Yesterday seven people were killed and more than 20 wounded in a separate attack nearby.

A senior police official in the city of Kohat said a suicide bomber had driven a vehicle into the rear wall of a police station. The United Nations spoke out against Saturday’s attack at the camp and said it was temporarily stopping its relief work in the Hangu and Kohat areas of the North West Frontier Province. "These were people who had fled their homes. They had suffered displacement; they'd suffered losing their homes. They'd come to the registration point considering it a safe haven. They'd come for help. They'd come for sanctuary. We mourn their loss, and condemn their killing," said Martin Mogwanja, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan.

The camp is home to about 1,000 people who have been forced out of their homes by fighting between the army and Taliban militants. More fighting in Orakzai and Kurram on the Afghan border is uprooting hundreds of thousands more people who are now heading to the camp.  Kohat police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash said the motive for the bombing is not clear."It seems the purpose was to target members of the Manikhel and Baramadkhel tribes who had constituted a large percentage of those fleeing recently,” he told United Nations news service, IRIN. He said the attackers, who disguised themselves by wearing loose burkas, could have been seeking revenge because those tribes had put together a militia to fight Taliban militants in their areas. Militant gangs based in Punjab province in the east took responsibility for the blasts. "We are not safe. At home we face death and when we try to find safety by leaving our homes, we confront death here too," said Kharan Khan, a 60 in Kohat. He described "scenes of mayhem and chaos" as the bombers struck an area where people were queuing to collect food rations.

Just this year, more than 500 people are estimated to have died in Militant bomb attacks across Pakistan. On Friday a suicide attack at a hospital in the south-west Pakistani city of Quetta killed at least 10 people and injured 35 more. The attacker detonated a bomb in a waiting room at a hospital where people had gathered following the fatal shooting of a Shia businessman. 

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