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Pakistan: Policeman Escort for Health Workers Killed

Police in northwestern Pakistan say gunmen have killed a police officer escorting a polio vaccination team, the latest in a recent series of attacks on polio vaccination drives.

A police spokesman said none of the health workers was injured in the attack. It took place Tuesday in Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, as the workers went door-to-door to vaccinate children against the virus.

Gunmen in December killed nine health workers carrying out such vaccinations across Pakistan. No one has claimed responsibility, but in the past, the Taliban, which is active in northwestern Pakistan, has indicated violent opposition to the vaccinations and accused health workers of being spies. There also are rumors in Pakistan that the vaccinations are meant to make Muslim children sterile.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is endemic.

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