Telecom aid group pulls out of Pakistan after bombing
Aid group Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has pulled out of war-torn Pakistan after the head of its Pakistan deployment was injured in a hotel bombing.
Oisin Walton was staying in the Pearl Continental Hotel, which was yesterday the site of a Taliban attack which killed 18 people and injured dozens more.
A truck bomb destroyed the bottom two floors of the hotel. Walton, who serves as the head of communications and international relations at TSF, was on the third floor at the time.
He is in a stable condition and is being evacuated back to the TSF base in Bangkok.
The Pakistan military’s offensive against the Taliban has left around 2.5 million people displaced from their homes and sheltering in 20 refugee camps, TSF said. The attack is believed to be a retaliation for this offensive.
On Monday, the TSF began offering free three-minute calls in several camps, and had six teams on the ground. But as the situation worsened, everyone but Walton and a small group of locals evacuated.
The TSF provides humanitarian telecom services in disaster-stricken areas. It was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in France.