Skip to content

Three killed in attack on Pakistan polio vaccination team in North Waziristan

  • by
  • blog
  • 2 min read

Gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday killing a health worker and two policemen – the latest deaths in a dangerous campaign to eradicate the disease.

Advertisements

Pakistan is one of two countries, alongside neighboring Afghanistan, where polio remains endemic, but where vaccination teams have been targeted by militants.

Advertisements

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Advertisements

“Gunmen came on a motorcycle and opened fire on the vaccination team,” senior police offer Ashfaq Anwar told AFP, adding that a child was also wounded by stray bullets.

Advertisements

“The victims died at the scene and the gunmen escaped.”

Advertisements

The attack happened in North Waziristan, a region that borders Afghanistan and which was once a significant refuge for Afghan and Pakistan Taliban militants.

Advertisements

Shahid Ali Khan, a senior government official in the district, confirmed the incident.

Advertisements

Scores of polio workers and security officials guarding them have been killed in militant attacks since 2012.

Advertisements

Militancy in the border regions of Pakistan has been on the rise since the Afghan Taliban took back power last year in Afghanistan, with security officials often the target.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Efforts to eradicate polio have been hampered by conspiracy theories spread by the radical religious right, which claim vaccination programs are part of a Western plot to sterilize Muslims or that vaccines contain pig fat and are therefore banned by Muslims.

Advertisements

Hardline opposition to all forms of inoculation grew after the CIA organized a fake vaccination drive to help track down al-Qaeda’s former leader Osama Bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

Advertisements

Pakistan launched its latest vaccination drive on Monday, aiming to inoculate more than 12.6 million children.

Advertisements

In April, Pakistan reported the first case of the debilitating neurodegenerative disease in 15 months.

Advertisements

Since then, 11 polio cases have been reported – all from the same ultra-conservative district where many villagers are against the vaccines.

Advertisements

Read more:

Advertisements

Pakistani soldier killed in shootout with militants in North Waziristan

Advertisements

UN launches emergency appeal for $110 mln for Afghanistan earthquake victims

Advertisements

Indirect talks between US, Iran to resume in the Gulf this week: State Department

Advertisements
Advertisements

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *