Policeman assigned to protect polio workers on Pakistan-Afghanistan border shot dead hours into nationwide vaccination drive

Peshawar: A policeman assigned to protect polio workers has been shot and killed by unknown assailants in Pakistan's northwest tribal district bordering Afghanistan, hours after a massive nationwide anti-polio vaccination drive was launched.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Pakistan on Monday launched the nationwide polio campaign touted as the final push against the crippling disease to cover 38.6 million children under five years of age.

Naib Subedar Sarfraz was shot and killed by the assailants on Monday on his way back to the security check post in the Badam village in Bajur tribal district bordering Afghanistan, security official said.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, that suffers from endemic polio, a virus that can cause paralysis or death.

Polio workers have faced problems during vaccination drives in many parts of the country where in the past militants have attacked female health workers.

Many extremist groups have spread rumours that the vaccination drives were a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2018 15:39:05 IST

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