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Three female polio workers shot dead in Nangarhar

Women are the latest victims as recently three female journalists were killed in the same province as violence increased in the wake of fragile peace talks

AT News

KABUL: Three female polio vaccination health workers were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

They were killed in two separate shootings just one day after nationwide polio camping kicked off.

The first gunfire took place in PD 4th targeting a female health worker. According to source, shortly after the first incident, unidentified armed men opened fire and killed two other female vaccination health workers in PD 7th of Jalalabad city. The victims were identified as Basira, Samina and Nagina.

No group, including the Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh extremist group, who are active in the province, claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Numerous assassinations have taken place around the country since the peace talks began between the Afghan and Taliban delegations in Doha.

On March two, three female Afghan journalists were shot dead in Jalalabad as the brazen continuation of serial killings of journalists and the string of targeted-killings continue to take more lives in Afghanistan.

The three slain female anchors were working for a private TV channel “Enikass Radio Television” and were targeted by unknown gunmen while they were heading home from work. 

President Ashraf Ghani, who is on an official visit to Tajikistan, in a statement strongly condemned the heinous attack on female vaccinators. “Attack on doctors, health workers and civil servants, who are working to provide children with health facilities and save their lives, is an atrocity act that has no justification,” Ghani added.

The Taliban and other terrorist groups by conducting the terrorist attack cannot weaken people’s intention, particularly the women for a bright future, the statement read.

President Ghani called for a thorough investigation into the incident in a bid to bring the perpetrators to justice.            

“I am horrified by the news about the killing of polio vaccinators in Jalalabad. Such senseless acts are an affront to humanity, and callously target Afghan women. These actions also undermine our efforts to eradicate polio by ensuring that the polio vaccine reaches every child,” Reid Sirrs, the Canadan ambassador to Afghanistan said.

Horrible news coming out from Jalalabad, on the 2nd day of the ongoing polio vaccination campaign, said the European Union in a statement. “The killing of three female vaccinators, working to immunise children, is a brutal breach of International Humanitarian Law hurting the people of Afghanistan.’

 “Perpetrators must be brought to justice, health workers kept out of harm’s way & the sanctity of health facilities respected. The EU remains a strong supporter of the health sector in Afghanistan & we call on the parties to allow equal access to vaccinations.” 

This comes after the Ministry of Public Health in joint venture with UNICEF and WHO has started the polio vaccination campaign on Monday to vaccinate 9.6 million children under five years across the country.

According to report totally 56 cases of polio recorded in 2020, where 75 percent of them were reported in the areas, which were not at access for home to home polio campaign implementation. 

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