Gunmen kill female school teacher in Pakistan

Gunmen kill female school teacher in Pakistan

Unknown gunmen Tuesday shot dead a female school teacher in Pakistan's troubled north-western tribal region along the Afghan border, an official said.

Shahnaz Nazli, in her late 20s, was targeted in Shahkas area of Jamrud in Khyber, one of seven districts, by two assailants on a motor-bike while she was on her way to a community-run girls primary school, DPA reported.

An official from the district political office said that Nazli received several bullets in the upper part of the body. She was rushed to a hospital but died.

"Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban usually carry out such attacks to create fear among the people," said Jahangir Wazir.

Taliban oppose female education and have targeted female schools and students in the past.

In October, Taliban gunmen attacked and wounded teenage advocate of girls' education, Malala Yousafzai, in Swat. She has only recently recovered after treatment in Britain.

Militants have also torched dozens of education institutions for females in the region.

Khyber is a hotbed of Islamic rebels who not only attack civilians and security forces but also fight with each other.

A turf war between rival Islamist militias in the district's Tirah valley has displaced up to 44,000 people, an emergency official said Tuesday.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an alliance of several militant factions, has been fighting Ansar-ul-Islam, a banned group, since January to take control of the heights in Tirah.

The clashes intensified mid-March when the Taliban attacked the headquarters of its rival in the Bagh Maidan area, reportedly overrunning it.

"Since March 16, about 5,200 families have fled the region," said Irfanullah Khan, a senior official of the state-run FATA Disaster Management Authority.

"The influx of displaced people has now decreased because an estimated 95 per cent of Bagh Maidan's population has already relocated to safer regions."

Khan said nearly two-thirds of the displaced people had moved to the main north-western city of Peshawar.

"Only a fraction (less than 3 per cent) of these people has been accommodated in relief camps, and the majority is living with host communities," Khan said.

Relief authorities are providing food and health care services to those enrolled with them, and arranging transport for the freshly displaced.

The Tirah Valley holds strategic importance for the militants as well as the military because it overlooks the adjoining tribal districts of Orakzai and Kurram, and one of the key supply routes into the volatile tribal belt.

Ansar-ul-Islam is believed to have aligned with pro-government tribes to fight Lashkar-e-Islam, its rival group linked with the Pakistani Taliban.

The casualty toll and other details in the weeks of fighting remain unclear as the region is off limits to journalists and other independent channels.

With scores reported killed, Pakistani news outlets said a couple of suicide attacks also took place during the deadly clashes.

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