PESHAWAR: Gunmen ambushed and shot dead two members of a polio monitoring team in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Sunday.
The incident happened Saturday night in the Saafi area of the Mohmand tribal district, where authorities imposed a curfew and launched a search operation led by the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
“A monitoring team of the local health department was returning to their headquarters when unidentified gunmen hiding in the bushes along the roadside opened fire on their vehicle, killing two of them on the spot,” local administrator Mahmood Aslam told AFP.
He said another monitor and the driver of the vehicle escaped unhurt.
“According to initial investigation, up to five attackers who were hiding in the bushes (and) later escaped from the scene,” Aslam said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio — a crippling childhood disease — remains endemic.
But authorities hope that despite such attacks, the country will be removed from the list of polio-endemic countries this year by achieving its goal of no fresh cases for a year.— AFP