MARDAN, April 10: A gunman shot dead a policeman and injured another in an attack on a police team protecting women polio workers in Mardan’s Mosam Koroono area on Wednesday.

The shooting was the latest in a series of attacks on people working on the UN-backed vaccination campaign. In December, gunmen killed nine women health workers carrying out polio vaccinations in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In February, a police constable was shot dead in Ghala Dhere Union Council.

A police official told Dawn that an unidentified man on foot attacked constables who accompanied a polio vaccination team.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Jafar Khan said policeman Raj Wali was hit by a single bullet in the head and died on the spot while Ishfaq Khan was critically injured. He was admitted to hospital.

The polio team included two women workers — Bushra Begum and Ayesha Bibi. They remained unhurt as they were inside a house administering polio drops to children.

Tariq Mehmood Aryani, a local resident, said that he rushed to the spot after hearing the sound of gunshots and saw two police officials lying in a pool of blood.

Police cordoned off the area after the shooting.

DIG Jafar Khan said: “We have started a search operation in Babaini, Fatima and Par Hoti areas after the attack and arrested some suspects.”

He said the anti-polio drive would continue across the  district, adding that no threat or pressure would be accepted. “Such cowardly acts by militants cannot stop the anti-polio effort.”

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