Violence increases against anti-polio workers in Pakistan, terrorists vow even more attacks

Crime scene investigators collect evidence at site of suicide-bomb attack.
Crime scene investigators collect evidence at site of suicide-bomb attack. (Reuters photo) 

• Pakistan, one of only two countries where polio is endemic, continues to see violence aimed at people connected with anti-polio efforts that have been supported for decades by Rotary International. Here, from today’s edition of The New York Times and from the news service Reuters, is the latest report.

QUETTA, Pakistan — At least 16 people were killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing outside a polio vaccination center in this southwestern Pakistani city, officials and witnesses said.

Thirteen of the victims were police officers, said Syed Imtiaz Shah, a senior official  with the Quetta police.Two civilians and a paramilitary police officer also were killed, and 10 police officers and nine civilians were wounded. Shah said the officers were there to guard polio workers, who often are attacked by Islamist militants in Pakistan.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Muhammad Khurrasani, claimed responsibility for the attack on the militants’ behalf. In addition, Ahmed Marwat, who identified himself as a commander and spokesman for Jundullah, another terrorist group that often works with the Taliban, said,  “We claim the bomb blast on the polio office. In the coming days, we will make more attacks on polio vaccination offices and polio workers.”


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