Bomb kills policeman as polio vaccination targeted in Peshawar

Published: February 16, 2014
Policemen collect evidence after a remote controlled bomb exploded near the van of a polio vaccination team in Budhni on the outskirts of Peshawar on February 16, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Policemen collect evidence after a remote controlled bomb exploded near the van of a polio vaccination team in Budhni on the outskirts of Peshawar on February 16, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: A bomb killed at least one policeman and wounded another during a vaccination campaign for polio and other diseases among children in Budhni area on the outskirts of Peshawar on Sunday, officials said.

“The police team was being deployed in Budhni area before the start of the campaign when a remote controlled bomb exploded near their van, killing one police official and wounding another one,” local senior administration official Zaheerul Islam told AFP.

A senior local police official, Faisal Mukhtar, confirmed the incident and casualties.

Militant groups see vaccination campaigns as a cover for espionage, and there are also long-running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.

More than 40 people including health workers and police officials providing security to the teams administering polio drops to children have been killed in Pakistan in different incidents of violence since December 2012.

The latest campaign, which started early this month, will continue until April. It sees vaccinators go door-to-door every Sunday across Peshawar to administer drops to children for various diseases including polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and hepatitis.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.

According to the World Health Organisation, Pakistan recorded 91 cases of polio last year, up from 58 in 2012.

The World Health Organisation has warned that Peshawar was the world’s “largest reservoir” of polio.

The country’s failure to defeat polio stands in stark contrast to its neighbour and great rival India, which recently celebrated the eradication of polio three years after its last case.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • rasgullah
    Feb 16, 2014 - 4:43PM

    Daily Diwali in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Voice Of D.I.Khan
    Feb 16, 2014 - 5:02PM

    Taliban have free license to kill now as KPK govt is fully supporting them and doing nothing…..


  • A
    Feb 16, 2014 - 7:44PM

    @Voice Of D.I.Khan:
    But that treacherous nawaz govt is going ahead with peace talks. Why is nawaz supporting the Taliban?


  • ria
    Feb 16, 2014 - 9:00PM

    @A: kejriwal should learn from imran khan… lol :)


  • Major Iqbal
    Feb 16, 2014 - 9:54PM

    If this happened in the Punjab, military force would have been used to fix the situation.


  • a.khan
    Feb 16, 2014 - 10:06PM

    “and there are also long-running rumours about polio drops causing infertility.”

    in the early 70s it was the Toyota Corolla [fitted with a Jap device] then, by the mid to late 70s it was Coke [er I mean Coca Cola]…. by then I had had enough of this technological marvel so I left…

    and now it in the polio vaccine, lo and be hold! and other tech marvel.

    “Peshawar was the world’s “largest reservoir” of polio.”

    Pakistan may well be the world’s largest cesspool for [or of] idiots, particularly the top echelon!

    lol, I laugh with the world… and cry with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 17, 2014 - 12:25AM

    The message is clear. They basically don’t want the polio issue to ever be resolved. Putting terrorism apart, why are they taking the right of every child to live a disease free life?


  • Ahmed
    Feb 17, 2014 - 1:10AM

    ET did not reported that Sehat ka insaf campaign continued despite this attack & i appreciate shaukat yousfzai kpk health minister for leading the campaign.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 17, 2014 - 1:36AM

    @Major Iqbal:
    Stop making comments which have no sense. The fact is that in Punjab, Mullahs who are against Vaccination have very little influence. Fortunately Punjabis are not brain washed to the point where they start killing their own people.


  • Jibran
    Feb 17, 2014 - 2:21AM

    Nawaz Sharif, Irfan Siddiqi and Ch. Nisar are guilty of treason with the state of Pakistan. Although Imran Khan is a confused person, it is not his responsibility to provide leadership to the nation. It is Nawaz Sharif’s job, and his inaction on the murders of Pakistanis is shameful.


  • R.Subramanian
    Feb 17, 2014 - 8:15AM

    If terrorist see the polio eradication as espionage means why don’t Pakistan Government and NGOs ask the terrorist to provide polio drops to the children in their areas


  • a.khan
    Mar 12, 2014 - 12:06PM

    I Love Pakistan so much that I am moving off to Australia!Recommend

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