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Gunmen kill four female aid workers in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan

Published: Updated:

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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