PESHAWAR: A polio vaccinator was gunned down on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen in Fata’s Khyber Agency in the fourth such attack within the last 24 hours, officials said.
Anti-polio vaccination team member Fazal Ameen was on his way to immunise children near the Sakhi Pul area of Ghundi in Jamrud Tehsil of the Agency when he was targeted by armed assailants who opened fire at him, a political administration official told The Express Tribune.
“He was critically wounded and rushed to the Hayatabad Medical Complex by Khasadar force personnel,” said the official. However, doctors at the HMC pronounced him dead and said he had succumbed to his injuries before he was brought to the hospital.
The incident was confirmed by another local administration official who said it was the third day of the anti-polio drive in the province. Nobody claimed responsibility for the incident but Taliban militants have attacked polio workers in the province in the past. More than a hundred people have been killed in such attacks since December 2012.
On Tuesday, a police constable deployed for the protection of polio eradication teams had been killed in an IED blast on the outskirts of Peshawar. According to the station house officer of the Daudzai police station, the Superintendent of Police was near ‘Muslim Children Academy’ school inspecting security measures when the bomb went off.
Attacks on polio teams are frequently carried out by militant groups. Opposition to all forms of inoculation grew in the country after the CIA organised a fake vaccination drive to help track down al Qaeda’s former leader Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad. He was killed there by US forces in 2011. Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio, a crippling childhood disease, remains endemic.