Published On: Wed, Mar 12th, 2014
Published in Category: DI Khan

Two cops shot dead as anti-polio team come under attack in D.I.Khan

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Dera Ismail Khan: Unidentified miscreants fired shots at polio vaccination team on Tuesday, killing two policemen while injuring another as they were providing security to a team of anti-polio health in Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtonkhaw, officials said.

Police officials said the attack took place when gunmen fired at anti-polio-vaccination team at Gandi Omar Khan area of Dera Ismail Khan, second largest district city of restive province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The injured cop was shifted to a Dera Ismail Khan hospital. He is reportedly in a critical condition.

Bodies of deceased cops were also shifted to government hospital for autopsy.

Lady Heath workers, however, remained safe in Tuesday attack, officials said.

WHO in recent days declared Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtonkhaw, as epicenter of polio virus in the world.

35 polio cases have been reported across the country.

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.

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