Cop guarding polio team gunned down in Peshawar

PESHAWAR    -    A police officer guarding polio vaccination teams was killed in Peshawar on Tuesday, police said.  The officer, named Shahnawaz, was attacked in the Sulemankhel area while on his way to duty. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and a search is underway to apprehend the perpetrators. The incident marks the second killing of a police officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in recent days. On Monday last, gunmen had shot and killed a police officer in Lakki Marwat district while he was protecting a polio team.

The attackers targeted the team in the Wargari area, where one of the assailants was also killed while the others escaped.

This year alone, at least 12 police officers have been killed while providing security for vaccination campaigns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Anti-polio efforts in Pakistan are frequently disrupted by violence, with militants often targeting both vaccination workers and their police escorts.

A five-day anti-polio campaign commenced on Monday across nine high-risk districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Health workers aim to vaccinate approximately 3.28 million children under the age of five, with over 26,000 police officers deployed to ensure their safety.