Five Alleged Taliban Suspects Arrested On Suspicion Of Killing Polio Workers, Pakistani Police Say

“Pakistani police said they arrested five alleged Taliban suspects Wednesday on suspicion of killing women polio vaccinators and plotting to attack Karachi airport,” Agence France-Presse/Dawn.com reports. “Gunmen in Pakistan last month killed nine health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, five of them in Karachi in attacks that prompted U.N. agencies to suspend work on a nationwide inoculation campaign,” the news agency writes. “They belong to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and were planning to hit Karachi airport and other high-profile establishments to create panic and chaos,” senior police official Ghulam Shabbir Shaikh said, the news agency reports. “There was no claim of responsibility for the December’s killings, but the TTP last year banned polio vaccinations in the northwestern tribal region of Waziristan, condemning the campaign as a cover for espionage,” according to the AFP, which adds, “Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is endemic, but rumors about the vaccine being a plot to sterilize Muslims have long dogged efforts to tackle the highly infectious disease” (1/9).

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