Home Latest News Polio Vaccinator Shot Dead in Faisalabad

Polio Vaccinator Shot Dead in Faisalabad

by AFP
Farooq Naeem—AFP

Farooq Naeem—AFP

TTP claims attack on policemen deputed to protect vaccinators in Swat from a day earlier.

Gunmen on Tuesday killed a member of a polio vaccination team in Faisalabad, as Taliban insurgents claimed the killing of two policemen assigned to protect an immunization team the day before.

Tuesday’s attack, the latest of many on the teams, occurred in a residential area of Faisalabad in Punjab province, where workers were immunizing children on the second day of an anti-polio drive.

The victim was Muhammad Sarfaraz, 40 a schoolteacher working as a volunteer in the campaign, said senior police official Ali Waseem. “Gunmen on a motorcycle fired six shots and he died on the spot,” Waseem said.

He said it was not clear whether Sarfaraz had been attacked by militants opposed to polio vaccination or because of personal enmities, which had led to two previous attempts on his life.

Dr. Rana Waqar Sadiq, a senior health official, confirmed the killing of a member of his polio team.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic. Attempts to stamp it out have been badly hit by opposition from militants and attacks on immunization teams that have claimed 67 lives since December 2012. The militants claim that polio vaccination is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilize Muslims.

Mohammad Khorasani, main spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the killing of two policemen in Swat the day before. They were killed in the town of Buner while on the way to protect a polio vaccination team.

“Police are our target and both the men were killed because they were from the police force,” Khorasani told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

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