In a similar attack yesterday five female polio workers were killed

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday suspended its anti-polio campaign across Pakistan. Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf have ordered tighter security for the volunteers.

Two more persons involved in the polio immunisation campaign were killed in the north-western town of Charsadda (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) on Wednesday, taking the toll of such killings across the country in the past two days to seven. The target, just like the previous occasion, was a woman; her driver also got killed. The five killed in Tuesday’s attacks in Karachi and Peshawar were women. No organisation had taken responsibility for these attacks till late in the evening.

In a related statement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said the attacks are the height of brutality and a bid to rob Pakistan’s children of a healthy future. “As even a single affected child in a community could undermine efforts to defeat polio, these attacks deal a devastating blow to the efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan. It defies belief that all these killings in a single day are a coincidence.”

Pakistan touched a decadal high of 198 new polio cases in 2011.

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