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Quetta gunmen kill mother-daughter polio vaccination team

AFP

QUETTA -- A mother-and-daughter polio vaccination team were gunned down Thursday (January 18) in Quetta as they were immunising children, police said, the latest deaths in the country's long campaign against the disease.

The two were killed in a neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city.

"Sakina Bibi, 38, and her daughter Rizwana Bibi, 16, were killed by unknown assailants while they were administering polio drops to children," senior police official Aitzaz Ahmed Goraya told AFP.

The pair were on the fourth day of a five-day anti-polio campaign, said Goraya.

"Previously we used to have police personnel providing security to polio workers, but we changed it a few months back as it was drawing attention," he said.

"Now we assign polio workers their own neighbourhoods and don't give them security," he added.

The incident was confirmed by a senior administration official, Amjad Ali Khan.

Nobody took responsibility for the incident, but Taliban militants have attacked polio workers in the country in the past. More than 100 people have been killed in such attacks since December 2012.

Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio, a crippling childhood disease, remains endemic.

Despite the attacks, it hopes to be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries by 2018 by achieving its goal of no fresh cases for a year.

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