- Published on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:00
FIVE female teachers in Pakistan have been slaughtered by Islamic militants bent on keeping women and girls away from education.
They were murdered in a New Year's Day ambush on the van carrying them home from their jobs at a community center and primary school in the north-west of the country.
The teachers and two health workers – one man and one woman – were killed this afternoon in the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
It was in this region that a Taliban gunman shot 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai in the head last October for criticizing the militants and promoting girls' education. She is currently recovering in Britain.
The attack was a reminder of the risks faced by educators and aid workers, especially women, in an area where Islamic militants often target women and girls trying to get an education.
Many militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province oppose female education and have blown up schools and killed female educators as a way to discourage girls from getting an education.
The workers were on their way home from a community center in the town of Swabi where they were working at a primary school and adjoining medical center. Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire with automatic weapons, said Javed Akhtar, executive director of the non-governmental organization Support With Working Solutions.
The NGO conducts programs in the education and health sectors and runs a primary school and a medical clinic at the community center in Swabi, he said.
Swabi police chief Abdur Rasheed said most of the women killed were between the ages of 20 and 22. He said the four gunmen who used two motorcycles fled the scene and have not been apprehended.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.
- Daily Mail