Fresh wave of militant attacks sees UN suspend its polio programme
New killings follow the murder of six female vaccinators in the country on Tuesday
Wednesday 19 December 2012
The United Nations has suspended its polio vaccination programme in two Pakistani provinces after a health worker and her driver were killed in a second wave of gun attacks.
The killings followed the murder of six female vaccinators in the country on Tuesday, after which the government halted vaccinations across the country’s largest city, Karachi.
The suspension of the UN vaccination drive is a major setback for a campaign that international health officials consider vital to contain the crippling disease but which Taliban insurgents say is a cover for espionage.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspicion has fallen on the Pakistani Taliban because of their virulent opposition to the polio campaign. The group’s spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, denied responsibility in a telephone call to The Associated Press yesterday but police said they had killed two militant suspects and arrested a dozen others in connection to the attacks.
The recent violence threatens to reverse the significant progress made this year in preventing polio in Pakistan, one of only three countries where the disease is endemic. Militants accuse health workers of acting as spies for the US after a fake vaccination programme was used to gather intelligence on Osama Bin Laden, and many claim the vaccine makes children sterile. Taliban commanders in the troubled northwest tribal region have also said vaccinations can’t go forward until the US stops drone strikes in the country.
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 5/6 Teachers needed in WinsfordWe...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SENCO Greater Manchester
£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...