5 Female Teachers Killed In Pakistan

Dan Evon

A group of armed militants killed five female teachers and two aid workers earlier this week in Pakistan.

According to the Associated Press, the seven victims were gunned down on their way home from a community center in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Authorities believe that the teachers may have been targeted because they were working on an anti-polio vaccine. The two aid workers, one male and one female, were working at a nearby clinic.

The NY Daily News reports that one man, the driver, survived the attack and was able to give police an account of what happened.

Swabi police chief Abdur Rasheed said that four gunmen and motorcycles pulled up beside the car. The gunmen removed a boy from the vehicle and then started firing at the car. All five of the female teachers killed in the attack were in their early 20s.

ABC reports that health workers have been killed in the past for pushing a polio vaccine because militants in the area believe that the vaccine will make Muslim children sterile. Female teachers are also specifically targeted because Islamic militants believe that female teachers are promote a western philosophy of gender equality.

Schools and hospitals have been blown up in the past, and several similar shootings have occurred in the region in the past year. Last month, nine people working an anti-polio campaign were shot and killed.

No group has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the shooting.