Gunmen once again target polio workers in Pakistan
By Meena Haseeb - Wed Dec 19 2012, 1:01 pm
On Tuesday alone, five workers were killed: a female worker in Peshawar; and four others in Karachi.
Wednesday’s victim was part of a team of four or five men administering polio vaccinations when gunmen opened fire on the group, said a doctor at Lady Reading Hospital where the man was being treated. He remains in a critical condition.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic.
However, efforts to stop the highly infectious disease have been hampered by resistance from the Pakistani Taliban, who have banned vaccination teams from some areas.
The attacks prompted authorities to suspend the campaign in some areas. But officials elsewhere decided to go ahead for its third and final day Wednesday.
Janbaz Afridi, doctor in charge of the immunisation campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province confirming the reports said Two workers were giving out polio drops in a suburb of Peshawar, in the northwest, when gunmen on a motorbike rode up and sprayed them with bullets.
One of the workers was in a critical condition in hospital after the attack, Afridi said.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the polio worker attacks, which authorities say they were co-ordinated and occurred at the same time in different parts of the country.