Five Afghan Polio Vaccinators Shot Dead
Jalalabad, Afghanistan, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Jun, 2021 ) :At least five polio workers were shot dead in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, officials said, in the latest attack on vaccinators in one of the last places on earth where the disease still exists.
Health ministry spokesman Osman Taheri confirmed the attacks. The Taliban denied responsibility.
The Taliban and religious leaders often tell communities that vaccines are a Western conspiracy aimed at sterilising Muslim children, and they also suspect immunisation drives are used to spy on militant activities.
Officials say the Taliban do not allow door-to-door vaccination campaigns in areas they control.
The inoculation drive in the province had now been halted, a health official told AFP.
"Senseless violence must stop now, those responsible must be investigated and brought to justice." US Charge d'Affaires Ross Wilson demanded an investigation into the latest violence.
The country has faced a devastating wave of targeted attacks on politicians, activists and journalists which the Afghan government and United States have blamed on the Taliban, who routinely deny responsibility.
"We have reached a situation where systematically employees of demining, doctor, nurse, vaccinator, human rights defenders and anyone seeking to save our lives and our children are killed," said Shaharzad Akbar, the head of Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission.