Polio worker, policemen shot dead during inoculation drive

As has so often happened in the past, security personnel who were deployed to provide security to polio workers were killed in North Waziristan along with one polio worker by assailants on Tuesday.

The workers and the policemen were busy inoculating a child when the attackers opened fire at them and fled away. The child also sustained injuries after being hit with a bullet in his leg. He is currently receiving treatment at Miran Shah District Headquarter Hospital.

A search operation is underway to trace and arrest the perpetrators of the attack. This is not the first time that polio workers and police officers have been killed in a targetted attack.

The reluctance is found among the locals based on misconceptions and myths surrounding the polio vaccines and drops. The seminaries and religious scholars have not helped either by labelling the polio drops and vaccines as a conspiracy by the West against the Muslims.

It is then no surprise that Pakistan remains one of the only two countries that are yet to completely eradicate polio, with war-torn Afghanistan being the other one. North Waziristan has reported 11 cases of polio this year, compared to one from the year 2021, indicating a sharp rise in the cases.

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