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Attacks on polio teams kill three in northwest Pakistan

Updated Dec 13, 2013 04:17pm


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— File photo
— File photo

SWABI: Gunmen attacked two separate polio teams in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing one polio worker and two police guards.

The first incident took place in Swabi in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where unknown motorcyclists shot down two policemen on their way to provide security cover to a polio team, local police said.

According to police, the two police officials were on their way to perform security duties when unknown gunmen opened fire on them on Topi Road in Swabi. Subsequently, one police official was killed on the spot while the other, sustaining severe injuries, succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.

Hours later, a gunman killed a polio worker on his way home after vaccinating children in Jamrud district of Khyber tribal region located on the outskirts of Peshawar.

Government administrator Iqbal Khan said the slain worker was targeted for participating in the government-run anti-polio campaign in the tribal area.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the polio virus is still endemic, but efforts to stamp out the crippling disease have been hit by repeated attacks on health teams.

Officials blame the violence and suspicions about the vaccine for a surge in cases. According to the World Health Organisation, Pakistan recorded 72 cases of polio this year compared to 58 in 2012.

New Delhi on Wednesday announced it would require citizens from Pakistan and other polio-affected nations travelling to India to take a mandatory polio vaccination at least six weeks prior to their departure.


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Comments (8) Closed

Habib ur Rahman Dec 13, 2013 06:22pm

Maulana Samiul Haq issued a fatwa only yesterday that vaccination of children against Polio is not unIslamic. Only a day later 3 persons have been killed for vaccinating the children. What does it tell us? It tells us that it is easy to inculcate a prejudice but difficult to uproot it. Once the genie is out of bottle, it is difficult to put it back. It also tells that the 'students' have outgrown their mentors, and that treating the symptoms is ineffective where surgery is indicated.

Akber Dec 13, 2013 08:36pm

Just wondering what is PTI and khan sahab doing to curb this madness.

Hamid Ali Tabatabai Dec 13, 2013 08:54pm

Sad state of this intolerant country.

US CENTCOM Dec 13, 2013 08:57pm

We are saddened to hear that innocent lives were taken without remorse. We send our heartfelt condolences and wish to see the culprits caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Ali Khan

Roxana R Dec 13, 2013 09:51pm

"Government administrator Iqbal Khan said the slain worker was targeted for participating in the government-run anti-polio campaign in the tribal area." So what is he going to do about this immediate threat to "his" people? Is he going to mobilize protests against the perpetrators? Is he going to talk loudly and publicly about the unacceptable behavior and the criminal activity?

Krish Chennai Dec 13, 2013 09:55pm

I am indeed surprised that no one has dared to comment on this. The disaster that polio can wreak on a child or a family that has the child, is far worse than what any Taliban bullet that can inflict on flesh and blood. What would a member of the Taliban feel if his own child was afflicted by this disease ? I have personally witnessed the pain and misery that a family, especially a mother, undergoes, when polio afflicts a child, and feel happy that I no more have to witness it in India.

AK Dec 14, 2013 03:07am

And our so called leaders want to negotiate with these animals...

ravi Dec 16, 2013 12:50am

@Akber: Imran and his PTI party stuck on drone attack agenda, all other issues like menance of taliban, intolerance and economy of country are irrelevant to them at present.