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Cops escorting polio team shot dead in D I Khan

Updated March 11, 2014


— File photo by AP
— File photo by AP

PESHAWAR: Two policemen escorting a polio vaccination team for security were shot dead in Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Tuesday, DawnNews reported.

The two cops were returning to their homes after performing their duties when the were targeted by unknown gunmen in Garo Ahmed area of D I Khan, killing the two on the spot.

Police and rescue teams reached the spot and shifted the bodies to a hospital for post-mortem.

Efforts to eradicate it have been seriously hampered by the deadly targeting of vaccination teams in recent years.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, chairing a meeting of Polio Task Force at the PM Secretariat in Islamabad, expressed concerns over stopping of the polio immunisation campaign by force.

Sharif said that a health emergency had been imposed in the country to eradicate polio from it.

Talking about the worrisome number of polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federelly Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) the premier said that polio vaccine should be available to every child in the country.

He, moreover, expressed fears of a travel ban being imposed of Pakistanis owing to the growing number of polio cases.

The prime minister also said that no compromise would be made on the National Emergency Action Plan for polio eradication.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Jan 17 had declared Pakistan's troubled northwestern city of Peshawar as the world’s “largest reservoir” of endemic polio and called for urgent action to boost vaccination.

Militant groups see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage, and there are also long running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.

Increasing number of polio cases have give rise to fears that Pakistanis could face travel restrictions over the growing polio cases in the country.