WORLD 3 female health workers shot dead in eastern Afghanistan

WORLD

3 female health workers shot dead in eastern Afghanistan

Xinhua

19:08, March 30, 2021

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Three female health workers were shot dead on Tuesday after gunmen opened fire on a polio vaccination team in Jalalabad city, the capital of eastern Afghan Nangarhar province, local government confirmed.

A health worker gives polio vaccination dose to children during a vaccination campaign in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan, March 10, 2020. (File photo: Xinhua)

The incidents happened at mid-day and a team of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of provincial police has launched an investigation into the case, the local government said in a statement.

On Monday, the Afghan Public Health Ministry launched a nationwide campaign to give polio vaccination doses to 9.6 million children under the age of five.

The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts have been hindering the efforts to stamp out the infectious disease in the Asian country as millions of children from areas inaccessible to vaccination teams will miss the ongoing vaccine drive.

Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan are the only two countries in the world where polio cases are reported every year, according to public health officials.

No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's shooting attack yet. Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants are active in the province.

Earlier this month, IS militants claimed responsibility for the killing of three female media workers in Jalalabad.

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