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Gunman Attacks Police Officers Guarding Polio Vaccination Team In Pakistan; One Killed

“A gunman shot and killed one policeman and wounded another on Wednesday as they provided security for a team of polio eradication health workers in northwestern Pakistan, according to government officials,” the New York Times reports (Masood, 4/10). “No one has claimed responsibility for the killings, but the Pakistani Taliban last year banned polio vaccinations in the tribal region of Waziristan, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage,” Agence France-Presse notes (4/10). “Authorities said Wednesday’s attack happened in Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” VOA News writes, adding, “No polio workers were harmed since they were inside the home giving polio drops to children when the attack happened” (4/10).

“In December, at least eight people engaged in polio vaccinations were shot dead in Karachi and the northwest, and in January and February two police officers were killed in similar attacks,” BBC News notes (4/10). “A superintendent of the health department in Mardan told Dawn.com that the polio campaign in other parts of the district continued as per routine and the polio teams remained in the field even after the attack,” the news service writes (Sherazi, 4/10). “The U.N. said last month that some 240,000 children missed vaccinations since July in parts of Pakistan’s tribal region, the main sanctuary for Islamic militants, because of security concerns,” the Associated Press/St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes (4/10).

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