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Police officer killed as polio team targeted in Peshawar IED blast

Updated October 25, 2016

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A BDS personnel tries to disarm an IED in Peshawar. —AFP
A BDS personnel tries to disarm an IED in Peshawar. —AFP
A BDS official crawls on the floor after an IED exploded during a disarmament operation in Peshawar. —AFP
A BDS official crawls on the floor after an IED exploded during a disarmament operation in Peshawar. —AFP
A BDS official gets off the floor after an IED exploded during a disarmament operation in Peshawar. —AFP
A BDS official gets off the floor after an IED exploded during a disarmament operation in Peshawar. —AFP

A police officer was killed and a Bomb Defusal Squad personnel injured in two separate Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts targeting a polio team in Peshawar's Daudzai area Tuesday morning, police said.

A polio team was hit when the first IED was detonated, police said.

A second blast occurred when the BDS attempted to defuse another IED found during a search operation in the area, they added. A BDS personnel was injured in the blast.

Polio vaccination drives are underway across Pakistan, one of only two polio endemic countries left in the world.

Last year, the number of polio cases recorded in Pakistan soared to 306, the highest in 14 years. Pakistan has, however, witnessed a 62 per cent drop in polio cases in 2016, according to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

Attempts to eradicate polio have been badly hit by militant attacks on immunisation teams due to claims propagated by the Taliban that the vaccination drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

These rumours have also made inhabitants of lesser-developed parts of the country more wary of allowing immunisation.

The Taliban stepped up attacks targeting polio immunisation teams after Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.