Pakistan: six die in attack on missionary school

 At least six people were killed in a gun attack on a Christian missionary school in Pakistan yesterday. Police say four gunmen burst into Murree Christian School near the capital, Islamabad, firing indiscriminately. Witnesses say the security guards, two of whom died, averted a bloodbath by stopping gunmen from entering a classroom full of children. The school has praised their bravery. About 150 children, almost all of them foreigners, study at Murree, which is about 70 km north-east of Islamabad. The school's Australian principal, Russell Morton, said two security guards, a cook and a carpenter were among the dead. The Missionary News Service report that the Mayor of Murree, Khurseed Abbassi, said the attackers managed to escape by motorcycle. The incident is the third attack on the Christian minority since September 2001, when President Parvez Musharraf declared his support for the US in the fight against international terrorism. A grenade attack on a Protestant church in Islamabad's diplomatic area in March killed five people, including the wife and daughter of a US diplomat. Last October, masked gunmen shot dead at least 18 worshippers at a church in the eastern town of Bahawalpur in Punjab Province. Bur the BBC report says that because the school has mainly foreign staff and students, the motive for this attack would appear to be political rather than religious.

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