Pakistani Taliban Deny Responsibility For Attacks On Polio Workers

“The Pakistani Taliban on Friday denied any involvement in attacks on polio workers, which have killed 21 people since December, but confirmed it opposed the vaccination as ‘un-Islamic,'” Agence France-Presse reports. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson for the umbrella group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told AFP, “We have no link with the attacks on polio teams,” the news agency notes. “We have very strong reservations against anti-polio vaccines because they are un-Islamic and bad for the health,” he added, according to AFP. “The umbrella militant faction last year banned polio vaccinations in the tribal region of Waziristan, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage,” the news agency writes, adding, “Rumors about vaccines being a plot to sterilize Muslims have also dogged efforts to tackle the highly infectious disease in Pakistan, one of only three countries where it remains endemic.” Afghanistan and Nigeria are the other two countries, AFP notes (4/13).

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