ISLAMABAD (AFP) Nationalist, sectarian and militant networks are killing teachers, damaging education and limiting development in one of countrys most deprived areas, a US-based rights group said Monday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at least 22 teachers and other education professionals were killed by suspected militants between January 2008 and October 2010 in the Balochistan. Since 2008, more than 200 teachers have transferred to the relatively more secure provincial capital, Quetta, or have moved out of the province. Nearly another 200 are in the process of transferring, the group said. To educate or to seek education in Balochistan today means risking your life and your familys, said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. By perpetrating such atrocities, Baloch nationalists are harming Balochistans development instead of advancing it, he added. Killing teachers, harming students and targeting schools only increase Balochistans problems and deprive its youth of the benefits of education, said HRW in its new 40-page report documenting dozens of attacks. Fearing for their safety, many teachers have sought transfers, further burdening what is already the worst educational system in Pakistan in terms of education opportunities and outcomes, the report said. The Balochistan government said the situation was beginning to improve and that fewer teachers were asking to transfer. But I think we still need some sort of confidence-building among teachers so that they return to their areas and resume their duties, Akbar Hussain Durrani, head of the provincial home department, told AFP. University academics said the killings were political and said the answer would only lie in the government addressing their core concerns. Hundreds of people have died since miscreants rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the regions natural oil, gas and mineral resources. The education sector was targeted disproportionately because militants view them as representatives of the state and symbols of perceived Punjabi military oppression, HRW said. In ethnic Baloch areas, schools are often understaffed, so any further loss of teachers severely jeopardises childrens chances of an education. HRW also said that many teachers who stay on the job complain about being so preoccupied by security that their teaching has been adversely affected.