Pakistan Taliban Kills 5 Women Vaccinating for Polio

Terror group claims they gunned down US spies
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2012 8:22 AM CST

(Newser) – Gunmen shot and killed five women who were administering polio vaccines to children in Pakistan today, in a pair of attacks likely intended to strike fear into health workers across the country. The Taliban has been a vocal opponent of the government's UN-backed drive to vaccinate children against polio, claiming that the vaccine is harmful and that the workers administering it are American spies, the AP reports.

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Four women were killed in Karachi today, in an attack that also critically wounded two male workers. Gunmen on motorcycles also gunned down a 17-year-old girl overseeing an anti-polio campaign near Peshawar, Reuters reports. "These incidents are depressing, and may cause difficulties in the anti-polio drive, but people should not lose heart," a senior health official said. The government is "determined to eliminate polio despite all odds and difficult conditions." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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