ISLAMABAD: At least one policeman was martyred while two others received injuries on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a police mobile in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan.
District Police Officer (DPO) Wahid Mahmood confirmed the causality, adding that the police mobile was deployed for the security of polio workers canvassing the area. The injured have been shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital, where their condition is said to be stable.
Mahmood said that the area has been cordoned off, while a search operation is underway. According to him, the police mobile was targeted while policemen were being deployed to provide security to polio workers.
Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan condemned the blast and said that the death of a policeman is extremely sad. “We stand with the family of the martyred,” he said.
He also directed that the two injured men be given “the best possible treatment”.
This year’s first nationwide polio vaccination drive began on Monday, aiming to vaccinate approximately 39.6 million children. The campaign involves nearly 265,000 polio workers going door-to-door to inoculate children under the age of five.
Just a few days ago, the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed five more polio cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, bringing the tally for the current year so far to 17. Last year, 144 cases were reported nationwide, 12 in 2018 and eight cases in 2017.
In January, two polio workers were killed when their team came under attack in Swabi’s Parmoli area. Last year, security was put on red alert in light of fatal attacks on polio workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Attacks on polio workers are common in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. This is one of the biggest hindrances to the eradication of polio from the country.