(CTN News) – An attack on a polio vaccination team guarded by two policemen in north-west Pakistan has left two policemen dead.
According to police, the two vaccinators were unharmed.
Vaccination teams are frequently targeted by anti-vaccine militants, who claim vaccination is a Western plot to sterilise Muslims.
Polio remains endemic only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where severe cases can result in death or paralysis.
According to local police, the two gunmen were hiding near a small water channel before they opened fire on the guards from a “very close range”.
The gunmen spared the two members of the polio vaccination team… and fled on a motorbike, AFP reported.
The incident occurred in Kot Azam, Tank district, in northwest Pakistan.
Pakistani militants have killed many polio workers and their guards over anti-vaccine sentiment, including the belief that vaccines contain pig fat.
After the CIA staged a fake vaccination drive to track down al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, opposition grew.
World Health Organization aims to eradicate polio globally. It was expected some years ago, but pockets of vaccine resistance have proved a challenge, while a recent surge in cases has caused concern.
April marked the first polio case in 15 months in Pakistan. There have been 13 more cases declared since then – all in North Waziristan.
A vaccine will be offered to all children aged one to nine in Greater London.
The virus that causes polio spreads easily through contact with feces or, less frequently, through coughing and sneezing.
Most people do not show any symptoms, but some develop flu-like symptoms.
Occasionally, patients become paralyzed – usually in their legs – which can be fatal.
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