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4 polio workers found dead in southwestern Pakistan

18 February 2015 17:08

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At least four members of a polio vaccination team have been found murdered in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan.

According to Pakistani officials, the polio vaccination workers along with two local tribal policemen and a driver had been kidnapped in the Zhob district of the province on Saturday.

“Security agencies conducted several operations to recover the polio worker and other team members and finally found their bodies in the mountains on Tuesday,” AFP quoted Nazar Muhammad Khatran, a senior local administration official in Zhob, as saying on Wednesday.

He further noted that the workers seem to have been killed on Sunday or Saturday.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the incident.

At least four people were killed and several others suffered injuries in an attack on a polio vaccination team on November 26 near the provincial capital, Quetta.

On November 12, 2014, Balochistan authorities started an immunization drive, aimed at vaccinating about 300,000 children against the polio virus.

Pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan, however, are strongly opposed to the drive and have ordered a ban on polio vaccination campaigns, arguing that they could be a cover-up for the United States’ espionage activities.

Pakistan is battling a polio epidemic which has infected over 240 people this year, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative of the World Health Organization.

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