Skip to main content

1 killed, 1 wounded in fresh attack on polio workers in Pakistan

By Shaan Khan, CNN
updated 6:41 AM EDT, Wed May 29, 2013
Paramedics treat an injured polio health worker at a hospital following an attack by gunmen in Peshawar on Tuesday,
Paramedics treat an injured polio health worker at a hospital following an attack by gunmen in Peshawar on Tuesday,
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio has yet to be eradicated.
  • The Taliban announced a ban on polio vaccinations in June
  • Pakistanis have viewed polio vaccination campaigns with suspicion

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Gunmen fired on two female health workers administering polio vaccines in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing one and wounding the other.

The shooting on the outskirts of Peshawar was the latest in a series of deadly attacks against those giving out the vaccine.

Two men on a motorbike opened fire on the two women while they were going house to house in the village of Bedh Der, said local police official Shafi Ullah.

One woman died at the scene; the other was critically injured, Ullah said.

Why polio hasn't gone away yet

Polio aid workers killed in Pakistan
Bin Laden raid hurts polio campaign

Pakistan is one of three countries in the world where polio has yet to be eradicated.

Pakistanis have viewed polio vaccination campaigns with suspicion after the CIA's use of a fake vaccination program in 2011 to collect DNA samples from residents of Osama bin Laden's compound to verify the al Qaeda leader's presence there.

Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May 2011.

In June, a Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan announced a ban on polio vaccines for children in the region as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, the Taliban said.

Opinion: Drones decimating Taliban in Pakistan

It wasn't immediately clear if the Taliban played a role in Tuesday's attacks.

Polio, a highly infectious viral disease that can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours, has been eradicated around the world except for three countries where it is endemic: Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

After the number of cases spiked sharply last year, Pakistan stepped up its eradication efforts. The numbers fell from 173 in 2011 to 58 in 2012, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Polio workers come under fresh attack in Pakistan

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT