WorldPakistan: Three dead and 23 wounded in Taliban attack

Pakistan: Three dead and 23 wounded in Taliban attack

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At least three people were killed and 23 wounded Wednesday in a suicide bombing in western Pakistan claimed by the Taliban, two days after they announced the end of the ceasefire agreed in June with the government.

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The attack targeted a police truck that was to escort polio vaccinators in the city of Quetta, a senior police official, Azhar Mehesar, told AFP.

The three fatalities are “a policeman, a woman and a child”, detailed.

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The attack was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which earlier this week called off a shaky ceasefire agreed with the government in June and ordered its fighters to resume attacks across the country. .

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The attack in Quetta was perpetrated “to avenge death” of a senior leader and founding member of TTP who died in August during the truce, the movement announced in a statement sent to AFP.

TTP (Pakistani Taliban Movement) is a separate group from the Afghan Taliban, although they share their hardline Islamic ideology.

In less than a decade, this movement has killed tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians and police officers.

It lost strength starting in 2014 after intense operations by the Pakistani army, but has regained momentum since the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan in August 2021, after the withdrawal of US forces after two decades of war.

Its attacks have since increased by 50% and have left 433 dead, according to the Pakistani PIPS Institute.

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mistrust in vaccines

Islamist militants, mainly those of the TTP, have been attacking polio vaccinators and the policemen who accompany them for years.

According to the Pakistani press, more than 70 vaccinators against polio have died since 2012, mainly in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (northwest), where TTP is well established.

Conspiracy theories abound in Pakistan about these vaccines, which are seen as part of a Western plot to sterilize Muslim children. Other theories hold that these vaccines contain pork fat and are therefore prohibited for Muslims.

This distrust, fueled by ultra-conservative religious, increased after the false vaccination campaign launched by the CIA to find the whereabouts of the head of Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden, assassinated in 2011 in Abbottabad (north).

Pakistani authorities launched a week-long campaign on Monday to vaccinate more than 13 million children against polio.

Pakistan detected its first case in 15 months of the highly contagious disease in April, caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis.

Since then, 20 new cases have been detected, according to the national program to fight polio.

Source: Elcomercio

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