Two die in blast outside Pakistan health clinic

Two die in blast outside Pakistan health clinic

A bomb hit a police van protecting a polio vaccination team in north-western Pakistan on Monday, killing two people, including a policeman, and wounding 12 others, police say.
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The attack took place on the third and last day of a United Nations-backed vaccination campaign in the Peshawar suburb of Badaber, police said.

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 hit by repeated attacks on health workers.

Militant groups have rejected vaccination as a Western plot against Muslims and banned teams from giving out polio drops in some areas.

“It was an IED [improvised explosive device] blast and the target was policemen,” Najeebur Rehman, a senior police official said.

The bomb went off just as officers reached Badaber to provide security to polio teams, he said.

Nasir Durrani, the police chief for north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, confirmed the death toll.

“Most of those wounded were policemen,” Mr Durrani said.

Raheel Shah, another police official, said the health workers were not injured in the attack as they were inside a health clinic.

Authorities said bomb disposal experts defused a second device close to the site of the first blast and had halted polio vaccination in Badaber.

“A second bomb weighing five kilograms of explosive has been defused. We have suspended the campaign for time being,” Zahurul Islam, a senior government official in Peshawar said.

Mr Islam said 54 polio workers, including 24 women, were inside the clinic at the time of the blast.

Agencies

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.