Aid workers die in ambush in Pakistan
Gunmen have ambushed and shot dead six Pakistani women aid workers and a male doctor, police have said. The charity for which they worked said it suspected the attacks were linked to recent murders of polio vaccination workers.
Their vehicle was raked with gunfire as they returned home from work at a children’s community centre run by Pakistani charity Ujala, or Light, district police officer Abdur Rashid Khan said yesterday.The shooting in Swabi district, about 75km northwest of the capital of Islamabad, was the first attack on aid workers in the area.
The victims worked at the centre for aid agency Support With Working Solutions, whose head Javed Akhtar said they had told their other 160 staff to suspend work.
The organisation was involved in health education in underdeveloped parts of the country, Mr Akhtar said. It had run a school and dispensary in Swabi and helped vaccinate children against polio.
Two weeks ago, gunmen killed nine health workers taking part in a national polio vaccination drive in a series of attacks. Most of the victims were young women.
The Taliban said it did not carry out those attacks although its leaders have repeatedly denounced the vaccination programme as a plot to sterilise people.