Pakistan polio immunizers hit by fresh deadly attacks
By Lehaz Ali, AFP
December 20, 2012, 12:15 am TWN
PESHAWAR, Pakistan--Gunmen in Pakistan mounted fresh attacks Wednesday on health workers carrying out polio vaccinations, taking the death toll to eight and prompting UNICEF and WHO to suspend work on a campaign opposed by the Taliban.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic. But efforts to stamp out the crippling disease have been hampered by resistance from the Taliban, who have banned vaccination teams from some areas.
Eight people working to immunize children against the highly infectious disease have been shot dead in Pakistan since the start of a three-day U.N.-backed nationwide vaccination campaign on Monday.
In the latest attack Wednesday, a female health worker and her driver were shot dead in Charsadda near Peshawar, the main town in the northwest, police official Wajid Khan told AFP. A second police officer confirmed the incident.
Another worker was shot and critically wounded while giving out polio drops earlier on Wednesday on the outskirts of Peshawar.