PESHAWAR (Staff Report) – A policeman was killed while nine sustained injuries in twin blasts in Mathra area of Peshawar on Wednesday.
The blasts were said to be targeting a polio team administering drops to children in the area, according to police officials.
According to the police, unidentified men had placed improvised explosive device (IED) near Professor Dr Akbar’s residence.
As soon as polio vaccination team reached the site, the devices exploded, injuring two people.
Police and Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) reached the scene immediately, but were caught off guard when a second bomb went off during their inspection of the area, resulting in the casualties of eight people including a police officer and a Edhi worker.
One of the injured policemen succumbed to injuries on way to hospital. Several vehicles were also destroyed in the second explosion.
Police cordoned the area off after the attack, however no arrests have been made yet in connection to the blasts.
The bombs disrupted the last day of a three-day anti-polio campaign in Peshawar and its suburbs.
As a result of concerted efforts by the government and frequent anti polio immunization campaigns, the number of polio cases has declined in the recent years in Pakistan. 2015 witnessed 54 cases in the country which was an 80 percent fall from the earlier figures.
Reach of polio teams to remote areas in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of the country was supported by successful Operation Zarb-e-Azb that was launched in mid 2014 to eradicate militancy.
At least 98 percent of children were vaccinated against the crippling virus in FATA in March which was a big leap for health authorities compared with previous years when teams could not reach different areas owing to threats and insurgency.