Following up on a death threat, Taliban militants broke into a house and fatally shot two teachers and three family members, bringing to 20 the number of educators slain in attacks this year, officials and a relative said Saturday.
The attack on two teachers, sisters living in the same house, happened overnight in a village in the eastern province of Kunar, near the border with Pakistan.
The sisters had been told in a Taliban letter to quit teaching, said Gulam Ullah Wekar, the provincial education director. It said their work went against Islam and that if they continued they would "end up facing the penalty."
When the Taliban controlled the government, girls were banned from attending school. Taliban insurgents continue to oppose education for females, and for males support only religious education.
In addition to killing 20 educators, assailants have burned down 198 schools this year, said Zuhoor Afghan, an Education Ministry spokesman. About 150 were burned last year, he said.