Pakistan policeman gunned down while guarding polio workers
UN-backed vaccination campaign target of violence due to militant propaganda, Zero Dark Thirty confusion
Gunmen riding on a motorcycle shot and killed a police officer protecting polio workers during a UN-backed vaccination campaign in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, police said.
The attack took place as dozens of polio workers including several women were going door-to-door to vaccinate children in Gullu Dheri village in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a mountainous region near the Afghanistan border.
None of the polio workers the police officer was protecting were hurt in the attack, said senior police officer Izhar Shah
"The polio workers were terrified and immediately went back to their homes after the attack," Shah told The Associated Press.
"The anti-polio drive in that village has been suspended."
It was the second day of a three-day campaign against polio that was launched by the provincial government. No one claimed responsibility for the killing, but suspicion fell on militants.
Some Islamic militants in the area have previously accused health workers of acting as spies for the U.S. and claim the polio vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.
Bin Ladens killing heightens suspicion
Militant suspicion of vaccination campaigns was racheted up after it was revealed that a Pakistani doctor helped the U.S. hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Physician Shakil Afridi ran a hepatitis vaccination campaign on behalf of the CIA to collect blood samples from bin Laden's family at a compound in Abbottabad, in Pakistan's northwest, where U.S. commandos later killed the al-Qaeda leader in May 2011.
The samples were intended to help the CIA match the family's DNA to verify bin Laden's presence in the garrison city.
Posted by: tipper 2013-01-29