Pakistan: Polio worker gunned down in northwestern province, gunmen flee on motorbikes

Peshawar: A polio worker has been gunned down by two unidentified men in a northwestern province of Pakistan where the crippling disease remains endemic.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Sohail Ahmed, a technician of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), was shot by motorbike riders armed with assault rifles Saturday 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 retrieved the body, 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 province 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. More than 100 people have been killed in such attacks since December 2012.

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.

Updated Date: Jul 02, 2017 16:41 PM

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