Two policemen escorting a team of polio workers were killed by unidentified gunmen on motorbikes in the town of Gomal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
According to a police officer Mohammad Imran, none of the polio workers were harmed. The polio workers as well as their police workers were all on motorbikes as well. The incident took place a day after the polio vaccination campaign was re-started in the country.
No group has thus far claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistan had only reported one case of polio in 2021, leading many to think that polio would finally be eradicated in the country. However, in April 2022, 14 new cases broke out in high-risk areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The country has frequently had to fight against the anti-polio campaigns that emerge out of mistrust for the vaccines, with militants often targeting polio workers and their security escorts, spreading misinformation that the vaccines are a Western conspiracy to sterilize their children.
Just three days before the attack, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Maulana Abdus Shakoor had threatened to boycott the polio vaccination program if the government did not restore peace in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).