Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Two polio monitors killed in Pakistan

Two polio monitors killed in Pakistan

The workers, both men, were killed during inspections when their team of four came under fire by unknown assailants, Mehmood Aslman, the political agent for Mohmand Agency, told CNN. Three staffers were rescued.

Militants ambushed a seven-member medical team vaccinating against polio in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency on the border with Afghanistan, killing two workers and abducting three others.

Health workers in Pakistan vaccinating children against polio have come under attack in recent years by militants, who have targeted anti-polo campaigns since United States intelligence officials used a fake vaccination program as part of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Provincial Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra condemned the attack, calling the polio workers heroes.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Islamist militants like the Pakistani Taliban have attacked polio vaccination teams and their security escorts across the country in the past, killing more than 100 people since December 2012. He said that the enemies of Pakistan can not bear to see the health factors of the country improve.

Pakistan is still among the very few countries, which is yet to be declared polio free country.

Polio workers have faced problems during vaccination drives in many parts of the country, including Karachi where in the past militants have attacked female health workers.

Khan said the bodies of the polio workers were handed over to relatives and their funeral will take place later in the day.

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