PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Taliban gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan today, killing four children and the driver in an assault they said was carried out to punish local tribesman for resisting the insurgent movement.
At least 14 other children and two female teachers were wounded in the attack in Matani on the outskirts of the main northwestern city of Peshawar, said police officer Ejaz Khan.
Two local tribal leaders in Matani have raised local militias to stop militant infiltration into Peshawar from the nearby border regions with Afghanistan. They get government financial and logistical help, and have killed or captured many militants over the last 18 months.
But they and their families have been ruthlessly targeted by the militants, which until three years ago were in control of the area.
“This was to teach them a lesson and we will continue to carry out attacks wherever and whenever possible no matter if it is a school or a school bus,” said Mohammad Afridi, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman.