(ISLAMABAD) — The onslaught against charity workers in Pakistan attempting to deliver polio shots to residents continued Monday when six women and one male were gunned down on a road linking Peshawar to the eastern city of Lahore.
According to Swabi district police chief Abdul Rashid Khan, the workers from the Pakistani charity Ujala were riding in a van when four gun-wielding men on two motorbikes opened fire on the vehicle before fleeing the scene.
Some of the women who died in the attack near a children’s community center were teachers.
Funerals were held for some of the victims on Wednesday.
The assailants, who got away, are believed to be affiliated with the Taliban, which has accused the vaccination program as being a front for spying on militants in northwestern Pakistan.
The Taliban once alleged that a doctor, who was part of a hepatitis program, gave the CIA information about the whereabouts of the late al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, which led to the raid on his compound in Abbottabad in May 2011.
Meanwhile, the vaccination program in Pakistan is considered crucial by health officials since the nation is one of the few left in the world where polio is endemic.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN