Four women aid workers were gunned down Monday in a restive part of northwestern Pakistan, police said, as a fresh wave of extremist violence rattles the Afghan borderlands.
The aid workers were ambushed by two gunmen as they were driving through a village in North Waziristan district, according to local police chief Shafiullah Gandapur, who said just one passenger survived the assault.
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“No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far but it was surely an act of terrorism,” he told AFP.
Gandapur said the aid workers were affiliated with a program run by a local institute to develop household skills for women.
The incident and death toll was confirmed by Rasul Khan, another local police official.
The so-called tribal areas along the Afghan border remain notorious for the availability of cheap guns, drugs and smuggled goods.
The region was once home to a wide array of extremist groups and was a focal point in the global war on terror.
Attacks have decreased in recent years following a series of military offensives against homegrown and foreign militants.
In 2014, the army launched a massive operation to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan aimed at ending a near decade-long insurgency that cost thousands of lives.
But militant groups are still able to carry out sporadic, isolated assaults.
A recent surge in attacks targeting security forces along the Afghan border has sparked fears that extremist groups may be regrouping.
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