Three women polio workers shot dead in Afghanistan

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Jalalabad

Gunmen killed three Afghan women involved in a nationwide polio immunisation programme on Tuesday, officials said, a day after authorities launched a new drive against the crippling disease.

The three women were killed in two separate attacks in the restive eastern city of Jalalabad, officials said.

“They were all on duty going from house to house to vaccinate children,” supervisor Wahidullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, told AFP. An official at the Nangarhar governor’s office confirmed the incidents.

A relative of one of the victims told AFP his niece had joined the immunisation programme to earn some money for her family.

“Gunmen shot her dead this morning when she was on duty giving vaccines to children,” said Haji Maqbool.

Farmer Saifullah, who witnessed the killing of the other two workers, said three gunmen had followed them before shooting them. “The girls had stopped in front of a house and were knocking the door.—AFP