Pak NGO suspends operations after killing of its workers
Islamabad: A Pakistani NGO Wednesday suspended its operations for three days after seven workers, including six women, were shot dead in the restive northwest.
Support With Working Solution suspended its activities for three days to mourn the death of its workers in Swabi district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
After that period, the NGO will decide whether to resume its work, officials said.
The six women and a male colleague were ambushed and gunned down yesterday while they were returning home from a community centre that houses a primary school and a health centre.
The women were aged between 20 and 35 and five of them worked as teachers. The four-year-old son of one of the women watched as his mother was shot dead.
The NGO workers were buried in their hometowns today amidst tight security.
A large number of people attended the funeral prayers.
No group claimed responsibility for the shooting.
However, the incident was similar to a string of attacks on polio vaccinators and NGO workers in the northwest that have been blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan civil society groups, rights activists, development workers and academicians today condemned the killing of the NGO workers.
In a joint statement, the Women Action Forum, Pakistan Reproductive Health Network, National Humanitarian Network, Insani Huqooq Ittehad and other NGOs said they were deeply shocked that the victims included five women teachers and a lady health worker.
The groups said people serving the downtrodden were "identified, targeted, followed and shot dead".
They expressed solidarity with NGO workers who were "courageously continuing" their work.