Gunmen killed five female teachers and two aid workers in an
ambush on a van carrying workers home from their jobs at a community
centre in north-west Pakistan yesterday, officials said.
The attack was another reminder of the risks to women educators and aid workers from Islamic militants who oppose their work. It happened in the same province where militants shot and seriously wounded 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai, an outspoken young activist for girls' education, in October.
The teachers and aid workers were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where Islamic militants often target women and girls trying to get an education, or female teachers. They have also kidnapped and killed aid workers, viewing them as promoting a foreign agenda.
Last month, nine people working on an anti-polio vaccination campaign were shot dead. Four of those shootings were in the north- west as well.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, formerly called the Northwest Frontier province, borders the tribal areas of Pakistan along the frontier with Afghanistan to the west.
Militant groups such as the Taliban have used the tribal areas as a stronghold to wage war in Afghanistan and against the Pakistani government.
The injured driver told investigators the gunmen stopped the vehicle and removed a boy - the son of one of the women - before indiscriminately opening fire.
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