MIR ALI, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen killed one soldier and wounded another Wednesday when they opened fire on security forces escorting a team of polio workers during a door-to-door inoculation campaign in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border, police said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in North Waziristan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It came days after the government launched the latest polio eradication campaign, said Aslam Riaz, a police officer in the region.
He said the polio workers escaped unharmed and the attackers fled the scene.
In 2021, Pakistan was close to eradicating the disease, which can cause severe paralysis in children. But later, cases spiked in the country. Islamic militants often target polio teams and police assigned to protect them, falsely claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic.