Three injured in attack on polio team in Bajaur

Published October 22, 2014
A recent WHO report has held Pakistan responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally. — File photo
A recent WHO report has held Pakistan responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally. — File photo

PESHAWAR: Three people were injured on Wednesday when a remote-controlled blast targeted a polio team in the Bajaur tribal region's Mamond tehsil.

Rescue teams rushed to the site of the attack and shifted the injured who included two Levies personnel on security duty and a driver to a hospital in Khar.

Official sources said that the polio team was targeted in Dabara area of Mamond tehsil.

Explore — War on polio: Is it all spiraling out of control for Pakistan?

Earlier on Tuesday, militants had threatened to target polio teams participating in the ongoing polio drive.

Pamphlets were distributed in different areas of Bajaur tribal region warning the tribesmen of dire consequences for continuing the anti-polio campaign.

Immunisation teams have been under attack in the tribal region. On September 10, a Levies man was killed when a polio team was attacked in the Damadola area of Bajaur. A day later, a paramilitary soldier escorting a vaccination team was shot dead in Mamond.

The latest threats to immunisation teams come as Pakistan broke its 13-year-old record of 199 polio cases on October 3. Official data shows that an overwhelming 96 per cent of polio cases so far reported were found among the Pashto-speaking population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Fata of which Bajaur is a unit — which has never been able to vaccinate its targeted population of around nine million since the global polio eradication initiative began in Pakistan in the mid 1990s — has become a challenge for the government and UN agencies, which are finding it extremely hard to address the issue of reaching unvaccinated children.

A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report said Pakistan was responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally.

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