A team of two polio workers and two police constables were targeted during an immunisation drive in Nowshera.
Cantonment Police DSP Akhtar Ali said polio workers Naila and Najma Shaheen along with police constables Roohullah and Abdullah were administering polio drops to children in Mohallah Rahimabad in Badreshe area when a man pointed a pistol at the female workers and told them not to vaccinate children and leave the area.
The DSP said the workers refused to go upon which the unidentified man opened fire, but added “his intention was not to shoot them.” The police escorts opened fire at the assailant who ran off and disappeared into the crowd. No fatalities occurred in the incident.
According to DSP Ali, he along with a heavy contingent of police rushed to the spot and began a search for the culprit. “We have arrested nine suspects, but the search is ongoing,” Ali said.
Attacks on polio teams have increased in the country. In December last year, polio teams were attacked in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda. Another woman and a driver associated with the programme were killed during the attack in Charsadda.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2013.