Pakistan: Seven charity workers shot dead

Seven charity workers, six of them women, have been shot dead in north-west Pakistan, police say.

The women, some of them teachers, were attacked near a health and education community centre. A male colleague died with them. All were Pakistani citizens.

Their vehicle came under gunfire near the centre run by Pakistani charity Ujala, or Light.

The incident happened in the Swabi district close to a road connecting Peshawar to the eastern city of Lahore.

“Four men came on two motorbikes. They attacked their van. They opened fire to the right and left of the van and fled on their motorbikes,” Swabi district police chief Abdul Rashid Khan said, according to AFP.

He added that the driver of the vehicle had also been injured in the attack, which took place near a motorway junction.

No-one at the charity, which works in the education sector, was immediately available for comment.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack although militants in the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province oppose female education and have attacked female students and their schools.

Last month, in a series of attacks, gunmen killed nine health workers taking part in a national polio vaccination drive.

The killings prompted the UN children’s agency and the World Health Organisation to suspend work on polio campaigns in the country.

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