BARA: Eleven teachers carrying out polio vaccinations were kidnapped from Khyber Agency on Saturday, Express News reported.
The incident took place in Sipah area of Bara.
The victims have been taken to an undisclosed location.
On October 10, three khasadar officials of Khyber Agency, who were providing security to polio vaccinators, sustained injuries when a roadside bomb targeted their vehicle on Ring Road near Achini in Peshawar.
On October 7, two people were killed and over a dozen - including two polio workers - were injured in a bomb blast outside a dispensary in a village on the edge of Peshawar. They were scheduled to finalise security arrangements for the ongoing polio vaccination campaign in the area.
Two polio volunteers were also killed in Tapaini, Swabi on June 16. The two men were administering drops to children in the area.
On January 29, a police constable escorting polio workers was shot dead in Gullo Dheri, Swabi. On the same day in the neighbouring district of Mardan, a man took an axe to a lady health worker’s brother who was accompanying her for protection during the anti-polio drive; the brother was injured.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Department and FATA Secretariat Expanded Programme on Immunisation had launched an anti-polio drive earlier in October in Peshawar and parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Out of reach since 2009, the children of Bara are slowly receiving polio inoculations. The campaign started in October and is supported by the political administration with the help of the army.
Bara tehsil is one of the worst-hit areas in Fata. Of the 15 cases reported in Fata in 2013, at least nine cases were from Bara. The four-year-gap between the vaccination drives cannot be ignored. Militancy, operations, mass displacement and curfews have made the area hard to access by health workers, who are not provided adequate salaries or security cover.
Families which vaccinated their children against polio in Bara, have reportedly been fined and threatened by militants in the past.
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