PESHAWAR: A Levies man was killed on Wednesday when a polio team was attacked in the Damadola area of Bajaur Agency, one of the seven tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.

According to political sources, polio workers were administering drops to children in Bajaur's Damadola area when unknown assailants opened fire on them.

Subsequently, one Levies man — who was assigned to provide security to the polio team — was killed in the attack. The health workers escaped unharmed.

Following the incident, security personnel cordoned off the area as a probe into the attack went under way.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where the crippling virus is endemic. The other two countries are Nigeria and Afghanistan.

But violence has badly hampered the campaign to stamp out polio in Pakistan, where militant groups with strongholds in tribal areas — including the Taliban — see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage, and there are also long running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.

AFP adds: Some 58 people including health workers and police providing security have been killed in militant attacks on polio vaccination teams in Pakistan since December 2012.

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