Polio worker killed, two others injured in Peshawar firing

Published December 28, 2013
— File photo
— File photo
Hospital staff members help an injured health move to another room at a local hospital in Peshawar, Saturday, Dec 28, 2013. — Photo by AP
Hospital staff members help an injured health move to another room at a local hospital in Peshawar, Saturday, Dec 28, 2013. — Photo by AP

PESHAWAR: A polio worker was killed and two others injured Saturday when unknown gunmen attacked Peshawar’s Matni Hospital.

According to the police, unknown gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on entering the hospital and fled from the scene. Subsequently, one polio worker, Zahid Gul, was killed on the spot whereas Ward Orderly Niqab Khan and a woman sustained severe injuries.

The wounded persons were provided with medical treatment.

Meanwhile, policemen reached the site of incident and cordoned off the area while a search operation went underway to apprehend those responsible.

Polio workers, including females, have been targeted in Matni earlier as well.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but militants have killed several polio workers and police protecting them in recent months.

Earlier on Dec 21, unknown militants gunned down a polio worker in the Jamrud Tehsil area of Khyber Agency on Saturday whereas on Dec 13, gunmen had attacked two separate polio teams in northwestern Pakistan, killing one polio worker and two police guards.

Meanwhile, earlier on November 23, militants had also kidnapped teachers for supporting a polio drive but they were later released following a jirga intervention.

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.

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