Three injured in attack on polio team in Bajaur


Polio worker beaten up after insisting on administering polio drops in Lahore

Three people were injured Wednesday when a remotely controlled explosive targeted a polio team in Dabara area of Tehsil Mamond in the Bajaur tribal area.

Rescue teams rushed to the site of the attack and shifted the injured–including two Levies personnel and a driver – to a hospital in Khar.

A day earlier, militants had threatened to target polio teams participating in the ongoing polio drive in the region.

Pamphlets were distributed in different areas of Bajaur Agency warning the tribesmen of dire consequences for continuing the anti-polio campaign.

The latest threats to immunisation teams come as Pakistan broke its 13-year-old record of 199 polio cases on October 3. Official data shows that an overwhelming 96 percent of polio cases so far reported were among the Pashto-speaking population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

FATA– of which Bajaur is a unit —has never been able to vaccinate its targeted population of around 9 million since the global polio eradication initiative began in Pakistan in the mid 1990s. The region has become a challenge for the government and United Nations agencies, which are finding it extremely hard to address the issue of reaching unvaccinated children.


Separately, a female polio worker was beaten up in Lahore on Wednesday after she insisted on administering polio drops to a child whose family refused to go ahead with the immunisation.

According to police, a polio team comprising two female and a male worker were administering polio drops in the area, when in Taqi Mohalla area a child’s parents refused to let their child be given the drops.

A female polio worker, Rukhsana Shehzad, tried to argue with the child’s family, leading to a squabble between them.

After a heated verbal exchange, two men in the house namely Farooq and Dilavaiz started threatening the polio team and asked them to leave. Upon the polio team’s refusal to leave, the men beat up Rukhsana and forced others to leave.

Police arrested the accused after an FIR was registered against them