A deadly suicide attack struck a polio vaccination centre in Quetta claiming at least 15 lives

QUETTA – A polio eradication centre in Pakistan’s Balochistan region was the target of a deadly suicide bomb attack which killed more than a dozen people. Along with the Pakistani Taliban, another armed group Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack comes after the polio campaign was relaunched in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital. Balochistan’s Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said, “Health workers, police guards, and personnel from the paramilitary Frontier Corps force were preparing for a door-to-door polio vaccination drive as part of a three-day campaign when they were attacked.”

Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio have been eclipsed by targeted attacks. Polio vaccination teams are often targeted in Pakistan by militant groups who claim that the polio campaign is a cover for Western spies, or a Western conspiracy designed to sterilise Pakistani children.

According to the World Health Organisation, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

Nudrat RazaCorrespondent (Asia: South)