Gunmen attack school van in Pakistan; 5 dead

Sep 13 2011 - 9:06am

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(MOHAMMAD SAJJAD/The Associated Press) A Pakistani child who was injured in an attack is treated at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said.
Security personnel surround a school van targeted by gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Taliban gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing children and the driver in an attack they said was carried out to punish local tribesman for resisting the insurgent movement. 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. (AP Photo/Mohammad Iqbal)
A man carries a child injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Pakistani hospital staff treat youths injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A member of the hospital staff carries a child injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
(MOHAMMAD SAJJAD/The Associated Press) A Pakistani child who was injured in an attack is treated at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said.
Security personnel surround a school van targeted by gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Taliban gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing children and the driver in an attack they said was carried out to punish local tribesman for resisting the insurgent movement. 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. (AP Photo/Mohammad Iqbal)
A man carries a child injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Pakistani hospital staff treat youths injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A member of the hospital staff carries a child injured in an attack, at a local hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept 13, 2011. Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan killing three children, the driver and police said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Gunmen attacked a school van in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing three children, a teacher and the driver, police said.

At least five others were wounded in the attack in Matani on the outskirts of the main northwestern city of Peshawar.

The district is the scene of a vicious conflict between government-backed tribal armies and Islamist militants with links to al-Qaida and the Taliban who are based in the nearby Afghan border regions. The extremists have targeted civilians there before.

The bus was taking students home when the gunmen struck, said police officer Qayum Khan.

The wounded, which included boys and girls of between the ages of 10 and 15, were treated at a hospital in Peshawar.

Militants seeking to overthrow Pakistan's Western-backed government have carried out hundreds of attacks in recent years. The army, supported by the United States, is battling the insurgents in several regions, but the extremists have proved resilient.

Most militant attacks are against security forces and government or Western targets, but civilians have also been hit, especially in regions where extremists are battling tribal militias. Analysts say the attacks are aimed at getting residents there to stop supporting the militias fighting them.

Elsewhere in the northwest, the bodies of two young men were found with a note saying they were killed by the Pakistani Taliban for spying on one of its commanders. They were found in their home village of Pahar Khel in Lakki Marwat district, said police officer Syed Khan. They had been shot.

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