|A relative mourns over the killing of a female polio health worker at a hospital in northwest Pakistan's Peshawar on May 28, 2013. Two female polio workers were killed when some unknown gunmen attacked a polio-eradication team in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city on Tuesday morning, local media reported. (Xinhua/Umar Qayyum)
ISLAMABAD, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Two female polio workers were killed when some unknown gunmen attacked a polio-eradication team in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city on Tuesday morning, local media reported.
Urdu TV channel Samaa said the incident happened at about 11:20 a.m. (local time) when the unidentified assailants sprayed bullets at the anti-polio team when it was on its routine vaccination campaign in the suburban Badbher area of Peshawar, capital of the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Earlier reports said that the victims included a man and a woman, however, later local media quoted some unidentified official sources as saying that both of the victims were women.
One woman got killed right on the spot while the other was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in the city where she succumbed to deep bullet injuries.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Police cordoned off the area and kicked off a search operation.
Last year many polio workers were killed when Taliban militants attacked polio-eradication teams in several districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the country's southern port city of Karachi.
Following the repeated attacks on the health workers, the World Health Organization and Unicef that were funding the drive in Pakistan, withdrew field workers owing to security threats on December 19. However, polio workers from national health bodies continued to serve despite the danger.
This is unclear whether the polio-eradication drive would continue in the province after the latest attack.
Pakistan is one of the world's three countries, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio still exists. In 2011, an estimated 173 cases of polio were registered across the country. According to official statistics, only 56 cases have been registered across the country in 2012, thanks to anti-polio vaccination.