South Asia

One soldier killed in attack on polio workers in Pakistan

File photo.

At least one soldier was killed and another was wounded in a gunmen attack on a polio vaccination team in North Waziristan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa near the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday, Pakistani media reported, quoting police officials.

The attack came days after the government launched the latest polio eradication campaign, said Aslam Riaz, a police officer in the region as quoted by Pakistani media.

The security forces were escorting polio workers in the area during a door-to-door vaccination campaign.

Riaz said the polio workers escaped unharmed and the attackers fled the scene.

In 2021, Pakistan was close to eradicating the disease but later, cases spiked in the country.

Islamist militants often target polio teams and police assigned to protect them, falsely claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic.