Two of the deceased were off-duty polio vaccinators although it is unclear if they were targeted.
A roadside bomb exploded in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday killing two off-duty polio vaccinators and their relative, officials said.
The blast occurred in Ali Nagar village in the Mohmand tribal district along the Afghan border where Taliban militants are active. The bomb went off near the house of polio vaccinator Mohammad Gul who was out walking with his brother, also a polio worker, and his cousin, although it was not clear whether they were specifically targeted.
“Two polio workers and their cousin were killed in the bomb blast,” said local government official Khushhal Khan. A local security official also confirmed the bombing and casualties.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the bombing, but militants have been aggressively targeting immunization workers across Pakistan. The militants allege polio vaccination is a cover for espionage or Western-conspiracy to sterilize Muslims. Those conspiracy theories gained further traction after the CIA recruited a local doctor to start a vaccination program during the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, which dismayed many aid and health workers.
Some 60 people including health workers and police providing security have been killed in militant attacks on polio vaccination teams since December 2012. The number of polio cases recorded in Pakistan passed 200 for the year last week, a 14-year-high.
Officials said 136 of the news cases were recorded in the troubled northwestern tribal areas that border Afghanistan and are home to Taliban and Al Qaeda militants.