Two police officers guarding polio workers killed in Pakistan

Two police officers who were assigned to protect a polio workers' team were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Jun 10, 2021
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Police officers killed in Pakistan

Two police officers who were assigned to protect a polio workers' team were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Since 2012, over 100 people deployed on polio vaccination duty in Pakistan have been killed in attacks by insurgents. 

The attack happened on Wednesday evening in Mardan district of Khyber province when the police officers were returning after dropping the polio workers at their respective homes, Adnan Azam, a senior police officer confirmed to Dawn. 

Both attackers and police officers were on their bikes. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. However, the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), commonly known as the Pakistan Taliban, in the past, claimed most attacks on polio workers, security officers guarding them.

In 2016, it had killed seven officials on polio duty in two separate attacks on the same in the port city of Karachi. 

Importantly, Pakistan and Afghanistan are just two countries yet to eradicate polio. In both countries, workers assigned for vaccination have been on target for decades now. Propaganda, mostly run by insurgents and radical Islamic clerics, against vaccination as something being anti-Islamic runs high in Afghanistan, and also in Pakistan, mostly in its northwestern tribal region. 

Earlier, in March, three female polio workers were killed in Afghanistan which further derailed its vaccination drive for weeks. 

(SAM)

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