Militants shoot dead Polio medical health officer in Pakistan’s Peshawar

September 11, 2016 5:15 pm

Police stand guard as a health worker administers polio drops to a child during a polio vaccination campaign in Karachi, , April 21, 2016. (AFP)

Militants have shot dead a medical health officer supervising a polio vaccination campaign in an attack in northwestern Pakistan.
Local police said on Sunday that the assault was carried out late Saturday when gunmen on a motorbike attacked Zakaullah Khan, a seasoned member of the polio vaccination campaign, near his house in the city of Peshawar.
Imtiaz Ahmad, a provincial spokesman for the campaign, confirmed the killing. The assailants escaped shortly after the incident.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Peshawar. In a statement, the group’s spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, vowed that the militants would carry out more attacks.
Taliban have conducted similar attacks in the past during vaccination campaigns in Pakistan.
In April, militants shot dead seven policemen guarding a polio vaccination team in the southern port city Karachi.

A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child during a door-to-door polio campaign in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2016. (AFP)

The Taliban in Pakistan have ordered a ban on polio vaccination campaign, saying that it could be a cover-up for espionage activities by the United States.
Militant attacks on inoculation teams across Pakistan have claimed more than 100 lives since December 2012.
Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio, a crippling childhood disease, remains endemic.
Despite the attacks, the Islamabad government hopes to be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries by 2018 by achieving its goal of no new cases for one year.
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