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Gunmen in Pakistan shoot dead 7 aid workers near capital

PESHAWAR, Jan 1 — Gunmen ambushed and shot dead six Pakistani women aid workers and a male doctor today, police said.

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, said district police officer Abdur Rashid Khan. Their driver was seriously wounded in the attack.

A worker of an anti-polio drive shouts slogans during a protest rally organized by the Vaccinators Welfare Association against the killing of her colleagues in Karachi December 19, 2012. — Reuters picA worker of an anti-polio drive shouts slogans during a protest rally organized by the Vaccinators Welfare Association against the killing of her colleagues in Karachi December 19, 2012. — Reuters picThe motive for the shooting in Swabi district, about 75 km northwest of the capital of Islamabad, was not clear and no one at Ujala was immediately available for comment.

Doctors at the Shah Mansoor Medical Complex in Swabi said they had received the seven bodies.

Last month 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 earning about US$2 (RM6) a day.

The Taliban said they did not carry out those attacks although its leaders have repeatedly denounced the vaccination programme as a plot to sterilise people or spy on Muslims.

Aid workers have frequently been kidnapped or killed in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 180 million that is struggling to contain a Taliban insurgency and plagued by endemic corruption and violent crime. — Reuters

 

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