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Central & South Asia

Pakistan polio campaign disrupted by attack

Police van protecting polio vaccination team in Peshawar suburb hit by blast, killing two people and wounding 12 others.

Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 22:51
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A bomb hitting a police van protecting a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan has killed two people and wounded 12 others, police said.

The attack took place on the third and last day of a UN-backed vaccination campaign in a suburb of the city of Peshawar on Monday, police said, adding that a policeman was among the two dead.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Najeebur Rehman, a senior police official, said those killed were a police officer and a member of a volunteer peace committee. He said the bomb went off just as officers reached the village to provide security to polio teams administering anti-polio vaccine to local residents.

Nasir Durrani, police chief for northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, confirmed the incident and death toll.

"Most of those wounded were policemen," Durrani said.

Raheel Shah, another police official, told the AFP news agency that polio workers remained safe in the attack as they were inside a health unit in the village.

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 armed groups, who have banned vaccination teams from some areas.

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