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Attack halts polio drive in Pakistani province

It is vital that every child be reached for polio vaccinations
(Kamila Hyat/IRIN)

The government of Sindh Province in Pakistan has called off its polio vaccination campaign after unidentified militants carried out coordinated attacks today on vaccination teams in three different parts of Karachi, killing four women and injuring two men.

“After the sad demise of the four of our women workers it is not possible to carry on the campaign,” Saghir Ahmed, the provincial health minister, told IRIN. “[The attackers] are the people who have a peculiar and closed mindset and they sabotaged this vital campaign which ensures eradication of this menace.”

Elsewhere, media reports said a 14-year-old girl, who was volunteering with the polio campaign in the northern city of Peshawar (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province), was shot dead by gunmen on a motorcycle.

Early this year Taliban commanders in the North Waziristan tribal agency declared a ban on polio vaccinations. Despite eradication efforts, polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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