Lady polio worker among two shot dead in Bannu

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Tariq Saeed

Peshawar

While the Polio cases continue to surface in one or other part of the country, a female Polio worker was among two shot down by the unknown terrorists in Bannu on Monday late night causing a blow to the Polio eradication drive.
Local Police authorities said the firing incident took place in Nazeem Bazar in the limits of Basiakhel Police Station on Monday night. “Lady health worker Bastaj Bibi was travelling in a rickshaw when unknown armed men opened fire on her, leaving her and the rickshaw driver critically injured”, Police said adding both the victims were shifted to Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.
District administration said the lady health worker was going for a polio vaccination campaign when she was targeted by unknown armed men. Bastaj Bibi was on duty at the camp for temporarily displaced persons in Bakakhel area of Bannu.
As usual the miscreants managed to flee after committing the murder. Police cordoned off the entire area and launched a search operation. However, no arrest was made during the operation.
A three-day polio vaccination campaign was kicked off in Bannu on December 09. It was feared that the vaccination campaign may be affected due to attack on the polio worker.
KP alone has recorded 68 polio cases this year this year out of which 22 cases have surfaced from Bannu. Nearby Lakki Marwat district stands second with 19 reported polio cases, while Waziristan, in the similar region, has reported eight cases.
It may be recalled that the Polio teams administering drops mostly comprise the female health volunteers, have been under terrorists attack for the last many years in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as dozens of polio workers, mostly female, were killed and many others sustained serious injuries in the assault, which had not only sent a wave of terror, anxiety and harassment among the Polio staff in the country but had also attracted serious concern of the international community