PESHAWAR: Two officers guarding a polio vaccination team in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were shot dead by unidentified assailants, police said Tuesday, the latest deaths in an ongoing campaign to eradicate the disease.
"Two gunmen hiding near a small water channel opened fire on the policemen from a very close range," senior officer Waqar Ahmad Khan said.
"The gunmen spared the two-member polio vaccination team... and fled on a motorbike."
The incident happened in Kot Azam, Tank district.
The attack on the police personnel may compel the government to review security arrangements for the polio team.
In April, Pakistan reported the first case of polio in 15 months.
Since then 14 polio more cases have been reported -- all from the same ultra-conservative district where many villagers are against vaccines.
The United States reported its first case of polio in almost a decade in July, while Britain said last week that around one million children in London will be offered a booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the attack on the polio team in Tank, saying the enemies of the health of the nation’s young generation would be strongly dealt with.
He expressed sympathies with the policemen who lost lives in the line of duty and said the nation paid tribute to the great sacrifices rendered by police.
The PM said those involved in the attacks on the polio team wanted to make the children of the country suffer from disabilities due to the crippling disease.
He vowed to eliminate the persons pursuing such agenda and nefarious designs against the young generation.
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