Two police officers providing security to polio workers were martyred on Tuesday by firing from “unknown terrorists”, according to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.
The police tweeted that the incident, in which constables Nisar and Pir Rehman were martyred, took place within the precincts of Gomal police station in Kachagraha.
President Dr Arif Alvi strongly condemned the attack. Expressing “deep grief and sorrow” over the incident, the president said the sacrifices of security personnel and health workers during the national polio drive would not go in vain.
“The elements carrying out such abhorrent attacks are the enemies of the future of the country’s children,” he said while paying tribute to the sacrifices of law enforcement agencies.
The president expressed the resolve to completely eliminate polio in Pakistan with joint efforts.
According to Radio Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the incident and paid tribute to the martyrs.
He said the assailants wanted to make the nation’s children disabled.
“Police force has been rendering unmatched sacrifices against terrorism,” the report quoted the prime minister as saying, adding that he expressed the commitment to eliminate the “menace of terrorism”.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif condemned the incident as well and said the chief minister had taken its notice.
“Police personnel sacrificed their lives for the future of the nation’s children. The provincial government will bring to justice the miscreants involved in the incident,” he said, adding that every possible step would be taken to help the martyrs’ families.
A polio vaccination campaign began in six high-risk districts of the province on Monday.
In April, Pakistan reported the first case of polio in 15 months.
Since then 14 polio more cases have been reported — all from the same district of North Waziristan where many villagers are against vaccines.
The United States reported its first case of polio in almost a decade in July, while Britain said last week that around one million children in London will be offered a booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples.
Additional input from AFP.