DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Two policemen guarding a polio vaccination team were shot dead by unknown assailants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank district on the second day of the campaign on Tuesday.
“Two gunmen hiding near a small water channel opened fire on the policemen from a very close range,” Waqar Ahmad Khan, Tank’s district police officer (DPO), told the AFP news agency. He said the attackers spared the two-member polio vaccination team and fled on a motorbike.
The incident occured in Tank’s Kachra Garah village within the limits of Gomal police station.
Officials have identified the martyred police constables as Nisar, son of Sina Azam of Manzai area; and Pir Rehman, son of Ghani Khan of Khargi village.
Attack comes a day after 10-day vaccination drive began in six high-risk KP districts
The attack came a day after a 10-day anti-polio campaign began on Monday in six high-risk districts of KP.
KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan took notice of the incident and vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by his special assistant on information, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif.
The chief minister said the policemen guarding the polio vaccination team to ensure a safe and healthy future for the country’s children must be praised. “The policemen sacrificed their lives for the sake of our children and their attackers won’t go unpunished,” he said.
Around 40 people, including cops and health workers, have been killed in polio-related incidents in the province since 2014, according to health officials. Perpetrators haven’t been identified in any of the cases.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where polio remains endemic, but vaccination teams have been targeted for years in both nations.
In April, Pakistan reported its first case of polio in 15 months. Since then, 13 more polio cases have been reported. All cases have been detected in KP, including 13 in North Waziristan and one in Lakki Marwat.
After Tuesday’s incident, a team of police and security forces led by DPO Khan reached the site to collect evidence and take eyewitness accounts.
Funeral prayers of both cops were performed with official honours at the district police office and floral wreaths were placed on their coffins. A Tank police squad also paid tribute to the martyrs.
Commissioner D.I. Khan Division Amir Afaq, Regional Police Officer Shaukat Abbas, DPO Khan, Deputy Commissioner Tank Hamidullah Khattak, Duty Officer Frontier Corps Sarmast Khan, Tehsil Mayor Tank Saddam Khan Bittani attended the funeral along with other security officers, media representatives and a large number of civilians.
Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.