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CTD KP arrested killer of three members of a polio team

27 November, 2015

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PESHAWAR: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Friday announced the arrest of the suspected killer of three members of a polio team in Mansehra.

Two lady health workers and a police guard were shot dead in the mountainous Danna area of Man­sehra district in March 2015. The polio team had been vaccinating children on the second day of a three-day anti-polio drive in the district when they were attacked. CTD officials claimed the arrest of Siraj alias 'Amir Sahab' on Friday from the village of Tanda in Mansehra.

The official said the accused had confessed to attacking the polio team in Mansehra along with his accomplice, Shahid Omer, during an initial interrogation with the CTD. The 'militant' is suspected of affiliation with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Polio workers have long been targeted due to rumours that the polio immunisation drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims. The rumours have made inhabitants of lesser-developed parts of the country more wary of allowing immunisation.

These claims were propagated by the TTP, who stepped up attacks targeting polio immunisation teams after Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Earlier this week, the CTD KP in a summary report claimed it had arrested 567 militants during 876 targeted operations conducted in various parts of the province over the last 10 months.

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