Polio worker shot dead in Pakistan, over 100 killed since December 2012 | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Polio worker shot dead in Pakistan, over 100 killed since December 2012

Taliban militants have attacked polio workers in the past in Pakistan -- one of only three countries where the crippling disease remains endemic.

world Updated: Jul 27, 2017 17:25 IST
A Pakistani policeman stands guard as a health worker administers polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Karachi in April 2017.
A Pakistani policeman stands guard as a health worker administers polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Karachi in April 2017.(AFP File Photo / Representational)

A polio worker has been gunned down by two unidentified men in a northwestern province of Pakistan where the crippling disease remains endemic. More than 100 people have been killed in such attacks since December 2012.

Sohail Ahmed, a technician of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), was shot on Saturday by motorbike riders armed with assault rifles while he was returning to his base from an outreach campaign in Swabi district, police said on Sunday.

The attackers managed to flee after committing the crime, The Express Tribune reported.

Ahmed was posted by the health department in Narnji village, which borders Buner district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Police reached the scene, cordoned it off and took the body into custody, it said.A search operation was conducted but no arrests have been made so far.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban militants have attacked polio workers in the past. Pakistan is one of only three countries where the crippling disease remains endemic.

Islamist militants consider anti-polio vaccines as a Western conspiracy to sterilise Muslims. The Islamists’ opposition to all forms of immunisation grew after the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) organised a fake vaccination drive to help track down Al Qaeda’s former leader Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad. He was killed there by US forces in 2011.