An injured polio worker is being treated at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar on Tuesday. – Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
An injured polio worker is being treated at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar on Tuesday. – Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
A Pakistani health worker gives polio vaccine to a childPakistan. -AP Photo
A Pakistani health worker gives polio vaccine to a childPakistan. -AP Photo

PESHAWAR:At least 14 suspects were taken into custody by security forces on Tuesday following an attack on an anti-polio vaccination team in Kaga Wala village in Badbher area in the suburbs of Peshawar which had left one lady worker dead and another injured, police officials told Dawn.com.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced temporary suspension of anti-polio activities after the incident.

Assistant Commissioner Peshawar Habibullah Arif however said that the campaign is continuing in other areas of Peshawar and a complete halt has not been ordered so far.

He said that he is personally supervising the drive in some areas. However, workers on the outskirts of the City are reluctant to move out after the incident and no polio teams are visible according to the locals

Acting in-charge of EPI Programme Dr Raheem Khattak told Dawn.Com that the polio vaccinators were on the vaccination duty when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen, killing one of them and inuring the other.

“It was the first day of vaccination drive in Peshawar and the workers were on routine duty when they came under attack,”

About the suspension of the polio vaccination after the attack, Dr Raheem Khatta said that the Deputy Commissoner of Peshawar has to decide about it, keeping in view the security concerns but they had not received any written order so far.

The polio team was reportedly without the security guards which might have been the reason for the attack.

The government has assured that the polio vaccinators that they would be well -protected during the vaccination duty and guards would be provided to them but the polio team which came under attack on Tuesday was no accompanied by the guards.

The Badbher Police says that the police mobile van was on routine patrol but the area people has requested that the armed guards should not accompany the vaccinators as it would endanger them more.

The casualties were shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

Lady Reading Hospital officials told Dawn.com that one of the attacked woman had succumbed to her wounds whereas the condition of the other injured woman was stated as critical.

The polio team was not accompanied by a policeman for security because of which the assailants easily managed to escape from the site of attack on foot, according to local eyewitnesses.

Police had lodged an FIR against unknown persons after the incident.

Security forces cordoned off the site of attack as a probe into the incident went underway.

Moreover, a three-day anti-polio campaign was suspended in Karachi's Gadap town area after the vaccination volunteers received life-threats from armed men, upon entering the area to conduct the vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Javed Khan Marwat said the authorities have decided to suspend the on-going three-day polio vaccination in the provincial capital following the killing of a woman polio vaccinator and injuring of another on Tuesday morning.

A meeting of the provincial health authorities in KP, district administration, EPI programme and the concerned law enforcement agencies was held on Tuesday evening to decide about the ongoing campaign.

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Comments (8) (Closed)


muhammad
May 28, 2013 02:11pm

Forces of darkness TTP again strikes

Salim Akbani
May 28, 2013 07:03pm

And the PMLN and PTI wants to talk about making peace with these, who harm their own children in the name of ignorance.

sigfus
May 28, 2013 07:40pm

@muhammad: It is truly disheartening to have such a dread disease so close to extinction from the world made a political cause at the expense of childrens future.

jg
May 28, 2013 08:39pm

till the time their is no hanging/execution, these attcks and many other ills of the society will continue at teh same pace.

sam
May 29, 2013 01:43pm

all you need is to see to it that the mosques do not preach hatred. That's it! Religious education is good for a society but religious acceptance is more important!

HM
May 30, 2013 10:54am

IK and NS want to "negotiate" with these people! Go ahead and see if they understand anything at all. What could polio eradication have anything to do with religion?

Farhan
May 30, 2013 01:32pm

Find the culprit(s), hang them in public for ONCE. Cannot control such attacks till law enforcement agencies start PUNISHING the culprits.

aditya
May 30, 2013 08:30pm

why does WHO bother..you ll deserve polio