Teachers and aid workers killed in ambush in Pakistan

Gunmen in north-west Pakistan killed five female teachers and two aid workers, one male, one female, in an ambush on a van carrying workers home from jobs at a community centre.

The attack was in the same conservative province where militants shot and seriously wounded Malala Yousufzai, 15, an outspoken young activist for girls’ education, in October.

Yesterday’s attack was in the north-west Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, an area where Islamic militants often target women and girls trying to get an education or female teachers. Militants here 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 and killed. 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 Taleban have used the tribal areas as a stronghold from which to wage war both in ­Afghanistan and against the ­Pakistani government.