PESHAWAR: Unidentified gunmen attacked and martyred two policemen assigned to provide security to a polio vaccination team.
A heavy contingent of police reached the site of the incident after the attack and cordoned the area. A search operation was also launched to apprehend the attackers who fled after the incident.a
The attack happened in the district of Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as the officers returned to a police station after providing security for the polio team, said DSP Adnan Azam Khan.
The martyred personnel were identified as Syed Raza Ali Shah and Shakir, residents of Syedan tehsil and Mardan. The bodies of the policemen were shifted to a nearby hospital, said DSP Adnan Khan.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which came two days after Pakistan launched a nationwide drive to eradicate the crippling disease by the end of the year. Azam said a search for the attackers was underway and all the polio workers were safe.
Earlier this year, a security officer was martyred in a gun attack on a polio team in Karak. The polio team remained unhurt in the attack but the officer providing security to the team was shot and martyred.
Militants have often targeted polio teams and police assigned to protect them claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.
Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan are the only two remaining countries in the world where polio is endemic after Nigeria was last year declared free of the virus.Q