Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Published in Category: District News

Two people including a cop killed as anti-polio team come under attack in Sindh

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Larkana: Unidentified miscreants fired shots at polio vaccination team on Thursday, killing two people including a policeman who was providing security to a team of anti-polio health in Ratodero, sub-division of Larkana District in the Sindh province, officials said.

Police officials said the attack took place when gunmen fired at anti-polio-vaccination team at Ratodero, stronghold of Pakistan Peoples Party.

Body of decesed cop was also shifted to Larkana hospital for autopsy. Heath workers, however, remained safe in Thursday attack, officials said. WHO in recent days said Pakistan is epicenter of polio virus in the world. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Pakistani Taliban has repeatedly targeted health workers who are vaccinating against polio, accusing them of being spies.

The violence has seriously hampered the immunization campaign in Pakistan, which is one of the three countries in the world where polio is endemic.

The resistance to polio vaccination by Taliban militants stiffened after the May 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in northern Pakistan as revelations surfaced that the Central Intelligence Agency had used Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor, to run a fake vaccination campaign to gain access into Bin Laden’s hide out.

Since then, Taliban insurgents have increased their attacks on the vaccination work and issued religious edicts claiming that the United States uses it as a guise to run a spying network. Hard-line religious extremists also claim that the vaccinations aim to sterilize Muslims.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3.5 million Pakistani children missed out on polio vaccination when over a dozen immunisation workers were shot dead in various parts of the country.}