The assault in Balochistan province occurred a day after the beginning of a brand new immunisation drive.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Unknown assailants have shot useless a policeman offering safety to a polio vaccination well being employee in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, the most recent assault towards efforts to guard youngsters from the illness.
Muhammed Hashim, the police officer, was shot on Tuesday morning whereas ready outdoors a home in Pishin metropolis the place a employee had entered to present immunisation drops as a part of a vaccination marketing campaign that started on Monday.
Police sources instructed Al Jazeera the physique of the slain officer was transferred to the provincial capital, Quetta.
Yasir Bazai, Pishin’s deputy commissioner, stated the authorities’ preliminary evaluation was that the regulation enforcement official, and never the well being employee, was the goal of the assault.
“We’re not going to droop the marketing campaign and it’ll proceed as scheduled. Nonetheless, safety is beefed up across the polio groups in the remainder of the province,” he instructed Al Jazeera.
No group has thus far claimed duty.
Mir Ziaullah Langau, Balochistan’s residence minister, condemned the killing and stated authorities had instructed officers to make sure the security of the groups participating within the drive.
The assault comes amid an increase in polio instances in Pakistan, the place the debilitating neurodegenerative illness stays endemic.
There have been 20 instances of polio reported thus far this yr, all of which within the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Polio vaccination groups in Pakistan have usually been focused by armed attackers. Over the previous decade, practically 100 individuals related to immunisation campaigns have been killed throughout the nation.
This yr alone, there have been 4 assaults, the final of which occurred in August when two policemen guarding a staff have been shot useless by unknown assailants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank district.
Pakistan’s faltering drive to get rid of polio has usually confronted resistance from spiritual teams who consider the eradication programme is a part of a “Western conspiracy” to sterilise the kids.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province, but essentially the most impoverished. The area can also be the hub of a decades-old separatist motion, and has seen quite a few security-related incidents.