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Pakistan - Polio workers killed in Peshawar

BY: Abigail Bonsu

Two polio vaccination workers have been killed in north-western Pakistan in the latest of a spate of deadly attacks.

The shootings in the Peshawar region left a vaccination supervisor and her driver dead, and injured a volunteer.

The deaths brought to eight the number of health workers killed in this week's anti-polio drive.

The three-day drive is now over. No group has claimed responsibility, but theTaliban have issued threats against the UN's anti-polio efforts. The militants have accused health workers of working as US spies and say the vaccine makes children sterile.

Pakistan is one of just three countries where the disease is still endemic. Coming after five deaths on Tuesday, and one on Monday, the UN children's agency Unicef and the World Health Organisation halted work in Sindh province in the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north-west onTuesday.

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The suspension was extended nationwide on Wednesday. The UN provides technical and financial support to employees and volunteers of the local health departments who administer the polio drops.

In Wednesday's violence, the vaccination supervisor and her driver died when their car was sprayed with bullets by gunmen riding motorbikes in Charsadda district, north-east of Peshawar, police said.

The student volunteer was shot in the head and critically injured when gunmen on two motorbikes fired at a team of vaccinators in a northern suburb of Peshawar. - BBC