Polio Workers Boycott Campaign In Balochistan
QUETTA, Nov 26 (ONline): Four polio workers, including three women, were killed and three others injured on Wednesday morning when unknown gunmen opened fire on a polio vaccination team near Quetta’s Eastern Bypass area. The Lady Health Workers (LHW) association in the province subsequently announced a boycott of the polio campaign in Balochistan.
According to police, armed men opened fire at the polio team, killing four people, injuring three. After launching the attack, the assailants escaped from the site of incident. Bodies of the victims were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta for postmortem.
Speaking to the media, one health worker said that until security is provided, they will continue boycotting the campaign. They also said that the government has failed to provide security to health workers.
Police and Frontier Corps personnel arrived at the scene to investigate the incident. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet.
Speaking to a reporter from Civil Hospital Quetta, one of the survivors said that no security arrangements were made for the polio team.
“Two men a on motorcycle stopped our car and started shooting. No security arrangements were made,” she said.
“There was a policeman standing in the distance, but he didn’t come to our aid. We called everyone but no one came to our rescue. One man on a motorcycle came and started our car and took us to the hospital,” she further added.
After the attack, police conducted several raids in the Eastern Bypass area and detained several suspects in relation to the attack on the polio team.
A senior police officer who requested anonymity told a private TV channel that the suspects were being interrogated by police. He also stated that 700 policemen were deployed in Quetta to guard polio teams.
A polio vaccination campaign was launched amid tight security in 11 districts of Balochistan earlier this month.
During the campaign, over 238,000 children below the age of five will be administered polio vaccine. The districts where the campaign was launched include Quetta, Killa Saifullah, Killa Abdullah, Sherani, Zhob, Pishin, Loralai, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Lasbela.