Policeman guarding polio worker shot dead in northwestern Pakistan

A police constable guarding polio vaccine workers was shot dead in the northwestern part of  Pakistan, a day after the week-long immunization campaign was kicked off in the region, media reports say

Sep 19, 2021
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Policeman guarding polio worker

A police constable guarding polio vaccine workers was shot dead in the northwestern part of  Pakistan, a day after the week-long immunization campaign was kicked off in the region, media reports say. No polio workers were hurt in the shooting. The incident happened in a village in Kohat, some 75 km south of Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, police official Khalid Suhail confirmed. No group took responsibility for the attack so far.

The TTP and other militant groups operating in the area often target polio workers and police officials providing security to workers. Security for the vaccination teams has been enhanced following the attack, Aimal Khan, provincial spokesman for the anti-polio program, said. 

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two remaining countries in the world where polio is endemic.

The anti-polio drive that began on Saturday aims to vaccinate 6.24 million children up to the age of five across the province. Khan said nearly 30,340 teams of trained workers were going home to administer the vaccines.

Pakistan and Afghanistan remain only two countries yet to become free from polio. Both countries, home to various insurgencies and militancy, often see attacks against polio vaccine workers by insurgents and terrorists who see them with great suspicion, especially after the US tracked down the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden using a fake polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan. 

(SAM) 

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