2 dead as bomber hits Pakistan police protecting polio teams

Nov 29, 2022, 11:18 PM | Updated: 11:24 pm

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up near a truck carrying police officers on their way to protect polio workers outside Quetta on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding more than 20 others, mostly policemen, officials said.

Ghulam Azfer Mehser, a senior police officer, said the attack happened when the policemen were heading to the polio workers, part of a nationwide vaccination drive launched Monday.

He said the bombing also damaged a nearby car carrying members of a family.

The Pakistani Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility. In a statement, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group, or TTP, said the attack in Baluchistan targeted police to avenge the killing of their former spokesperson, Abdul Wali. He was widely known as Omar Khalid Khurasani and was killed in a bombing in Afghanistan’s Paktika province in August. His death was a heavy blow to the group.

The attack on police came amid a spike in new polio cases among children. The latest vaccination campaign is the sixth such drive this year and will last for five days, aiming to inoculate children under the age of 5 in high-risk areas.

The drive is aimed at Islamabad and in the high-risk districts in eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan province, where Monday’s attack took place. It killed at least two people, including a police officer and a child. A similar campaign will be launched in the northwest in the first week of December.

Pakistani authorities have been launching such campaigns regularly despite attacks on workers and police assigned to inoculation drives.

Militants falsely claim that vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children. Since April, Pakistan has registered 20 new polio cases, which can cause severe paralysis in children.

Pakistan came close to eradicating polio last year, when only one case was reported.

Currently, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two countries in which polio has not been eliminated.

Wednesday’s bombing happened two days after The Pakistani Taliban ended a monthslong cease-fire with the government in Islamabad, ordering its fighters to resume attacks across the country, where scores of deadly attacks have been blamed on the insurgent group. In Monday’s statement, the outlawed TTP group said it would end the five-month cease-fire after the army stepped up operations against the TTP.

Pakistan and the TTP had agreed to an indefinite cease-fire in May after talks in Afghanistan’s capital. The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but are allies of the Afghanistan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan more than a year ago as the U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan emboldened TTP, whose top leaders and fighters are hiding in Afghanistan.

The latest violence comes a day after Pakistan’s new military chief, Gen. Asim Munir, took command.

Munir, a former spymaster, replaced Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa after he retired from the post after a six-year term. Bajwa, during his tenure, had approved a series of operations against the militants in Baluchistan, northwest and elsewhere in the country.

The latest attack also comes a day after the military claimed it killed 10 “terrorists” in a raid in the Hoshab district of Baluchistan province. For nearly two decades Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by separatists demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. The government says it has quelled the insurgency, but violence in the province has persisted.

____

Ahmed reported from Islamabad.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This photo provided by Budweiser shows a scene from Budweiser's 2023 Super Bowl NFL football ad. Br...
Associated Press

For Super Bowl ads this year, crypto is out, booze is in

NEW YORK (AP) — The hottest ticket in town for advertisers is officially sold out. Fox said Monday that in-game ads for Super Bowl LVII have all been sold. The big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place on Sunday. The Super Bowl is advertising’s biggest stage, with advertisers jockeying […]
19 hours ago
FILE -- A man walks out of a vaccination bus at a mobile vaccine clinic in Midtown Manhattan, Dec. ...
Associated Press

NYC ending COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city employees

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City, which once had the nation’s strictest workplace vaccination rules for COVID-19, is ending one of its last such mandates, saying it will no longer require the shots for municipal employees including police officers, firefighters and teachers. The vaccine mandate, which led to the firing of hundreds of city […]
19 hours ago
British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gestures before speaking to the media at Victoria Place Shopping Cen...
Associated Press

Britcoin? UK gets closer to launching a digital currency

LONDON (AP) — Britcoin is moving closer to reality. U.K. authorities on Monday said British businesses and consumers are likely to need a digital version of the pound, formally asking for public comment on the idea of introducing a central bank digital currency. Britain, home to the world’s second-biggest financial center, is trailing former colonies […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif., Sept. 24, 201...
Associated Press

Google hopes ‘Bard’ will outsmart ChatGPT, Microsoft in AI

Google is girding for a battle of wits in the field of artificial intelligence with “Bard,” a conversational service apparently aimed at countering the popularity of the ChatGPT tool backed by Microsoft. Bard initially will be available exclusively to a group of “trusted testers” before being widely released later this year, according to a Monday […]
19 hours ago
Lizzo performs a medley at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. (...
Associated Press

Grammys rebound from COVID years, reach 12.4 million viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — An estimated 12.4 million people tuned in to watch stars Harry Styles, Lizzo and Bad Bunny perform at the Grammy Awards, along with a tribute to 50 years of rap history. That’s up from the pandemic-affected broadcasts of the last two years, the Nielsen company said on Monday. Live viewership was […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A walkway leading into the school in Wales, Alaska, where a 24-year-old woman and her 1-year...
Associated Press

Polar bear in fatal Alaska attack was in poor health

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A polar bear that killed a young mother and her baby last month in western Alaska was likely an older animal in poor physical condition, but tests came back negative for pathogens that affect the brain and cause aggressive behavior, officials said. Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, a state wildlife veterinarian, collected and […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
2 dead as bomber hits Pakistan police protecting polio teams