New York, 6 January 2023 (TDI): The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, held a regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

He called the gun-and-grenade attack on a police van guarding polio workers despicable. Five officers got injured in the attack, which took place in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan’s Dera Ismail Khan area.

He expressed these views when asked a question about the malicious attack. In this vein, Stephane noted, “It is not the first time we’ve seen attacks on health workers.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen attacks on people trying to do polio vaccination in Pakistan and other places in the world.”

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The Spokesperson said, “Sometimes we face situations where you really run out of words. It is despicable to target people who are going out in communities in highly challenging circumstances.”

“They are trying to protect the lives of infants and babies from a preventable disease that is almost non-existent; except for a handful of countries. That all too often is due to a security situation where people work against health workers.” He continued.

Attack on Policemen

On Thursday, unknown assailants wielding guns and hand grenades ambushed a police van assigned to protect polio workers in Dera Ismail Khan.

During the frenzied exchange of fire, five police officers were shot & a terrorist was also injured. The suspects, however, were able to get away from the scene. The wounded police officers were sent to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

An attack on a polio vaccination team in Pishin in October 2022 resulted in the martyrdom of a police officer. In August 2022, two policemen died in an attack on a polio team in ​​Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank district.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan is one of only two countries, along with Afghanistan, where polio persists despite massive vaccination campaigns.