(AsiaNews / Agencies) - Three groups of anti-polio volunteers were attacked by assailants
in motion in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda in the province of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (North-west Pakistan), near the Afghan border. One
of the volunteers was wounded in Peshawar, in Charsadda instead a passer-by was
injured, but the volunteers unharmed. Yesterday,
five people involved in the vaccination campaign were killed in Karachi and Peshawar.
authors of these attacks are unknown, but it is almost certain that they are related
to the Taliban who for months have declared war against the anti-polio
months, the Islamist guerrillas threatened to block the health campaign to
protest against the assaults of U.S. drones.
Pakistan is one of three countries in the world - along with Afghanistan and Nigeria - where polio is endemic. In the country thousands of parents refuse to vaccinate their children against polio under the pressure from imams and Islamic radicals.
The killings yesterday, the bloodiest to date, took place in Karachi and Peshawar. All of the victims were women. In Karachi, the volunteers were targeted as they went door to door to offer the vaccine. The attacks took place in two different neighborhoods, in Orangi Town and Baldia Town a short distance from each other. The police assumed that they were organized by the same group.
Yesterday, another woman, 18 year-old Amna, also a member of the anti-polio campaign, was killed in the village of Mathra, near Peshawar. The day before, in Karachi, a man who worked for the World Health Organization was killed.
Government authorities have promised that these attacks will not stop the anti-polio campaign.