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Gunmen kill five polio workers in Nangarhar in first day of vaccination drive

AT News

KABUL: At least five polio vaccination workers were killed and four others were wounded in separate attacks in Jalalabad, the capital city and two other districts of eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, the latest in a series of attacks against health workers.

Provincial governor spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani said that gunmen targeted polio workers in Jalalabad, the provincial capital city, and in two districts – Sorkh Rod and Khogyani. The casualties occurred in five separate attacks, he added.

Nangarhar has seen a wave of assassinations since peace talks began between the Afghan and Taliban negotiators. Gunmen targeted government employees, health workers, media and civil society members.

Gunmen killed three female polio vaccination workers in Jalalabad in March that forced the workers to suspend their operations.

No group claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks, but both the Taliban and Islamic State terrorist group are active in the province.

The attack come on first day of polio vaccination campaign launched by the ministry of public health in cooperation with the WHO and UNICEF, which through 9.9 million under five years children will receive immunization drops, as well as two-five years children will be provided Albendazole tablets (Anti-worm medicine).

According to MoPH the Polio campaign faced disorder challenges due to Covid-19 outbreak and insecurity in 2020, which caused an increase in (WPV1) and (cVDPV2) polio cases in the country.

The Ministry termed elimination of polio as a massive responsibility and called on all sides to let the children have access to vaccines and all vital services.

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