Swedish charity worker flown out of Islamabad

December 11, 2012 - 10:12:50 am

LAHORE: A Swedish charity worker who was critically wounded in a gun attack in Pakistan last week was flown home yesterday for specialist medical treatment, officials said.

Birgitta Almeby, 72, was coming home from work when she was shot in the chest in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, on the eastern border with India.

She was working in Lahore for the US-founded Full Gospel Assemblies, which describes itself as a “church fellowship” with congregations all over the world.

“She was still unconscious, her condition is critical, she is on a ventilator,” said Fazlur Rehman, chief doctor at Jinnah Hospital.

“There was a special request from Sweden. They sent a special air ambulance manned by a team of doctors and we shifted her today.”

Pastor Liaquat Qaiser, a spokesman for the Full Gospel Assemblies, confirmed that her condition was serious and that she had been flown to Sweden for better treatment.

The organisation runs charities in Pakistan including a technical training institute, adult literacy centre and orphanage. 

According to police, Almeby has been living in Pakistan for 38 years.

Police officer Owais Malik said the culprits had not yet been identified.

Lahore, a city of eight million, suffered a string of high-profile bombings blamed on Taliban and al Qaeda linked militants in 2010.

In August 2011, US development worker Warren Weinstein was kidnapped after gunmen tricked their way into his Lahore home. Pakistani officials believe he is being held by al Qaeda and Taliban extremists in Pakistan’s lawless northwest.

In April, a British Muslim Red Cross worker was beheaded nearly four months after being kidnapped in the southwestern city of Quetta.

AFP

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