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Pakistani police say polio team attacked, policeman killed; Kill polio not the workers.

Gunmen shot and killed a police officer protecting a polio vaccination team in northwestern Pakistan.

In the past two days this was the third attack against policemen assigned to protect polio workers. The officer was attacked in the Dera Ismail Khan district in a town called Kolachi.

Officer Dilwar Khan, who was assigned for the protection of the polio team, was on his motorbike on his way to escort the team, taking part in the nationwide campaign to end the polio and make Pakistan a polio free state.

The gunmen escaped the crime scene and a police investigation as well as search is in process, said a local police official. 

Claims that vaccination campaigns are western conspiracies to sterilize children is a common belief amongst Pakistani militants due to which polio teams and the police assigned to protect them are targeted.

Two attacks targeted police working with polio teams on Sunday. In Peshawar a gunman killed a policeman coming back home from duty with polio workers. This seems to be a daily occurrence as another reported incident showed a roadside bomb went off near a police van escorting a polio team in the district of South Waziristan, severely wounding an officer.

As of now Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries that are still in the clutches of the polio endemic. Last week, the Prime Minister launched another polio vaccination drive in order to eradicate the deadly virus. According to the word of authorities, about 23.6 million children are to be vaccinated in this vaccination drive.

On Sunday, Aimal Khan, a spokesman for the anti-polio effort said that the effort to continue the campaign would persist despite the obstacles being faced on a daily basis. With a workforce of 17,000 trained workers, the teams would go home from home in order to administer the vaccines in KPK.

According to Shahzad Baig, who leads the anti-polio effort, only one case of polio has been reported which is dramatically low as compared to 66 during the same time last year. Baig appealed to parents to get their children vaccinated to keep their children safe from the deadly virus.

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