QUETTA, Pakistan (AFP) – Gunmen opened fire on a team of polio vaccinators in Pakistan’s restive southwest on Wednesday, killing four of them and forcing authorities to halt an immunisation drive, officials said.
The incident happened on the eastern outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.
“A team of seven polio workers was getting ready to launch the fourth and final day of the campaign when two men riding a motorbike opened fire on their vehicle,” provincial home secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP.
Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic and attempts to stamp it out have been badly hit by opposition from militants and attacks on immunisation teams, which have claimed more than 60 lives in the last two years.
A senior doctor at Quetta’s Civil Hospital, Rasheed Jamali said a male and a female health worker died on their way to hospital while two female workers died of their wounds in hospital.
He said three other women were being treated, but they were out of danger.