Vaccination centre blown up in Swabi

January 25, 2014

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SWABI: Unknown miscreants blew up the EPI centre at the district headquarters hospital, Swabi, while the adjacent dental block and offices were partially damaged due to the explosion and the fire that erupted afterwards here on Friday evening.

District police officer Sajjad Khan told Dawn that unknown miscreants planted an improvised explosive device (IED) at the EPI (Expanded Programme on Immunisation) centre located in the DHQ hospital, which exploded with a bang.

As a result, the one-room EPI centre was completely destroyed while the windowpanes and doors of others offices, including the adjacent dental block, were smashed.

Sources said that the vaccines and EPI record were also destroyed in the blast.

Local people said that soon after the blast a fire broke out in the three-room dental block which engulfed the whole building.

The firefighters and local people reached the hospital to extinguish the fire, but they could not be able to overcome it hours after the blast.

The DPO said that the personnel of bomb disposal unit were busy to determine the nature of the blast and quantity of the explosive material used.

He said that no casualties or injuries were reported as the EPI centre and dental block were closed at the time of blast in the evening.

Police sources said that the EPI centre was the apparent target of miscreants as they wanted to disrupt the ongoing anti-polio vaccination campaign in Swabi.

Dr Yaqoob, in-charge of the polio campaign in the district, told Dawn that a three-day polio vaccination drive was launched in Swabi tehsil and other areas of the district on Friday.

He said that 50 polio teams had left the EPI centre in the morning for various localities to administer vaccines to children below five years of age.

Answering a question, he said that the vaccines and other material had been stored at the EPI centre and the damage done could impact the ongoing drive.

The DPO, however, resolved to complete the drive, adding that security would be provided to the polio teams to reach every child in the district.