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Three more polio workers shot

polio killing 400PESHAWAR: Three workers in a polio eradication campaign were shot in Pakistan on Wednesday, and two of them were killed, the latest in a string of attacks that has partially halted the UN-backed global health campaign to stamp out the crippling disease.

 

Following the violence, the United Nations in Pakistan has pulled all staff involved in the immunization campaign off the streets, spokesman Michael Coleman said.

 

Wednesday saw at least three separate attacks. In the northwestern district of Charsadda, men on motorbikes shot dead a woman and her driver, police and health officials said.

 

Hours earlier, a male health worker was shot and badly wounded in the nearby provincial capital of Peshawar. He remains in a critical condition, said a doctor at the Lady Reading Hospital where he is being treated.

 

Four other women health workers were shot at but not hit in nearby Nowshera, said Jan Baz Afridi, deputy head of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation.

 

It is not clear exactly who is behind the violence.

 

Spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ihsanullah Ihsan, told Reuters his group was not involved in the violence.

Copyright Reuters, 2012