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Taliban hampering anti-polio campaign in Paktika

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  The Taliban insurgents have been hampering anti-polio campaign in the districts and capital of southeastern Paktika province, health official said on Wednesday.

Wali Gul Kahroti, provincial public health director, said Taliban insurgents were not allowing an anti-polio drive prepared for launch in the province.

“Taliban banned the drive for unknown reasons and for and uncertain time,” he said, adding they would talk with local tribal elders to mediate and help the problem resolved.

Khudai Dad, a resident of the area said, militants have warned the people not to vaccinate their children. He requested the Taliban to allow the vaccination campaign for the sake of their children’s health.

However, the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the claims and said they had no problem with the vaccination campaign. “People themselves oppose the vaccination campaign in some areas, but we are trying to convince them,” he claimed.

According to Kharoti, about 217,000 children should be vaccinated in Paktika province. Two days ago, a three-day anti-polio campaign started nationwide.

This is not firs time, in the past Taliban and foreign insurgents impeded polio vaccination campaign in the Raghestan district and other areas of Badakhshan province.

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