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Gunmen kill mother, daughter anti-polio team in Pakistan

Gunmen shot and killed a mother and her daughter who were part of an anti-polio campaign in Pakistan, the latest attack against health workers trying to eradicate the crippling disease.

Police official Muslim Ali told dpa that the killings occurred on the outskirts of the south-western city of Quetta on Thursday.

Ali said the mother-daughter team was taking part in a week-long campaign to vaccinate children under the age of five.

Pakistan is one of only two countries where new polio cases still surface, although the number of affected kids declined to eight in 2017 compared to 306 in 2014.

Neighbouring Afghanistan also reports cases.

Militants linked with al-Qaeda often attack health workers vaccinating children.

The militants accuse them of acting as spies and claim the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.

Dozens of workers running the immunization campaign and security officials guarding them have been killed by Taliban militants over the years, according to police statistics.

The head of the Pakistan’s anti-polio drive, Ayesha Raza Farooq, condemned Thursday’s killings.

Polio is a disease that especially affects children, crippling the victims for life.

 


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