IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Bomb blast in Pakistan polio program, 5 policemen killed

Abdur Rahman Khan

At least five police officers were killed in a bomb blast at a polio vaccination program in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

At least five police officers were killed in a bomb blast at a polio vaccination program in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Around 27 others were injured in the blast at a polio vaccination program in Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday.

Bajaur District Police Officer (DPO) Kashif Zulfiqar confirmed the casualty to the national media Dawn. Anwarul Haque, a senior government official there, told the French news agency AFP that 25 policemen in charge of security for the polio program were targeted by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack while being transported in a truck to Bajaur.

Sadar Hospital of Khar District Medical Superintendent Dr. Wazir Khan Safi said, 12 of the injured are being treated at the hospital. Besides, 10 other seriously injured people have been shifted to a medical center in Peshawar.

Malakand Divisional Commissioner Shakib Raja said that the polio vaccination program in the area has been suspended due to the blast. The country’s emergency rescue agency 1122 says rescue teams in Mohmand and Lower Dir districts have also been ordered to be on alert.

The country’s banned militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack on the vaccination program in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Polio vaccination programs are often targeted by Islamist militants in Pakistan. They see the polio vaccination effort as spying on them and a Western conspiracy to sterilize Muslims.

The militant organization TTP has been waging war against the Pakistani state for years. They are fighting to overthrow the country’s government and establish an Islamic regime. Militants have stepped up attacks since a ceasefire signed with the government expired last year.

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