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IED blasts in Peshawar kill security personnel, injure nine others

PESHAWAR, 18 MAY (DNA) – A policeman was killed and nine sustained injuries on Wednesday in twin blasts in Peshawar’s Mathra area. According to police, unidentified men had placed Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near Professor Dr Akbar’s residence.

As soon as anti-polio drive reached the site, explosion took place and injured two people. The second bomb went off when security personnel were inspecting the area as a result of which eight people including a police personnel and Edhi worker got wounded. One of the policemen succumbed to injuries on way to hospital.

Police cordoned off the area after the attack however; no arrest has been made yet. It is pertinent to mention here that last day of three-day anti-polio campaign is underway in Peshawar and its suburbs. Meanwhile, attacks on polio teams in Balochistan and other parts of the country have complicated vaccination drives for health authorities.

 In January at least 15 persons were killed in a blast outside an anti-polio centre in Quetta. Attacks in a city impact health department’s activities in other cities as well. An attack on an anti-polio team in Karachi in April martyred seven policemen resultantly, a drive, ongoing in Multan was deferred for as many as seven days.

However, number of polio cases has declined in the recent years in Pakistan. Year 2015 witnessed 54 cases in the country which was an 80 percent fall from the earlier figures. Reach of polio teams to remote areas in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of the country was supported by successful Operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched in mid 2014 to eradicate militancy.

At least 98 percent of children were vaccinated against the crippling virus in FATA in March which was a big leap for health authorities compared with previous years when teams could not reach different areas owing to threats and insurgency.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the world that are struggling with eradication of polio.DNA

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