Two polio workers shot dead in North Waziristan


Two polio workers died Tuesday while one was injured seriously in firing by unidentified suspects in Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan.
According to police, the deceased were identified as Razaullah and Dil Badshah.
The injured and the bodies of the deceased were shifted to Miranshah Hospital.
They were in the line of duty when they had been attacked.
It is to be noted here that an anti-polio campaign was underway in North Waziristan.
According to AFP, three people – a health worker and two policemen – were killed in the attack.
Pakistan is one of two countries, alongside neighbouring Afghanistan, where polio remains endemic, but where vaccination teams have been targeted by militants.
“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. “The victims died at the scene and the gunmen escaped.”
Shahid Ali Khan, a senior government official in the district, confirmed the incident.
Scores of polio workers and security officials guarding them have been killed in militant attacks since 2012.
Efforts to eradicate polio have been hampered by conspiracy theories spread by the radical religious right, which claim vaccination programmes are part of a Western plot to sterilise Muslims or that vaccines contain pig fat and are therefore banned by Muslims.
Pakistan launched its latest vaccination drive on Monday, aiming to inoculate more than 12.6 million children.
In April, Pakistan reported the first case of the debilitating neurodegenerative disease in 15 months.
Since then, 11 polio cases have been reported — all from the same ultra-conservative district where many villagers are against the vaccines.

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