Two polio workers, one soldier killed in Mohmand Agency

GHALLANAI: Two polio workers and a soldier were killed in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency on Saturday.

Sources in the political administration said terrorists attacked a team of seven polio workers in Safi tehsil during which two workers died, three went missing and two managed to escape unhurt and reached Ghallanai, the main town of Mohmand Agency. The slain workers were identified as Salahuddin and Wajid. The missing workers later reached their homes safe and sound.

The security forces launched a search operation in the area after the incident. During the operation, a clash occurred between the soldiers and militants. One soldier died and another was injured in the clash, while details of casualties from the other side could not be ascertained.

Polio workers in Pakistan are under attack from terrorists as they believe that the foreign powers are pursuing their agenda inside Pakistan in the garb of vaccination campaigns. The militants intensified their propaganda and attacks on polio workers after one such fake campaign was used by the US to grab al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Attacks on polio workers reduced significantly during recent times due to effective awareness campaigns by the government and non-governmental organisations, but still the polio workers carry out campaigns in Pakistan under security cover over fear of attacks.

Two months ago, two polio workers were shot dead in a similar attack in Quetta.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are only two countries in the world where polio has been categorised as endemic viral infection. Vaccination efforts in both these countries are often hampered due to refusal of parents or threats from militants.

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