Bomb kills Pakistani policeman assigned to anti-polio team

Pakistan regularly carries out anti-polio drives, despite attacks and threats by the Taliban who claim the campaign is a Western conspiracy to sterilize children. (AP)
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Updated 18 February 2020

Bomb kills Pakistani policeman assigned to anti-polio team

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A roadside bombing targeted a police vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing a policeman and wounding three others, officials said. The police were assigned to escort health workers during an anti-polio vaccination campaign in the region.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in Kolachi, a town in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan. Pakistan regularly carries out anti-polio drives, despite attacks and threats by the Taliban who claim the campaign is a Western conspiracy to sterilize children.
Pakistani security forces were searching the area for the attackers, said police official Wahid Khan. No polio workers were traveling with the police at the time of the bombing, he added.
Attacks on anti-polio campaigns increased in the years following revelations that a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign was used as a ruse by the CIA in the hunt for Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in 2011 in Pakistan.
The latest attack came after Pakistan on Monday launched a three-day nationwide vaccination campaign against the crippling disease.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic. Pakistan had hoped to make the country polio-free in 2018 but failed to meet the target because of a sudden surge in the new polio cases. Since January, 17 new cases of polio have been reported in Pakistan.


UK coronavirus deaths pass 1,000

Updated 9 min 5 sec ago

UK coronavirus deaths pass 1,000

  • A total of 120,776 people in Britain had been tested, of whom 17,089 were confirmed positive
  • The death toll was 1,019, up from 759 at the same time on Thursday

LONDON: The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain jumped by 260 in one day to pass 1,000, official data showed Saturday, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself tested positive.
At 5:00pm (1700 GMT) on Friday, the death toll was 1,019, up from 759 at the same time on Thursday, the health ministry figures showed.
As of 9:00am on Saturday, a total of 120,776 people in Britain had been tested, of whom 17,089 were confirmed positive.
Johnson and his health minister, Matt Hancock, were confirmed on Friday to be among those infected, although both said they had only mild symptoms.
Their cabinet colleague, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, revealed on Saturday that he too had developed mild symptoms and was self-isolating, but had not been tested.
In a video message on Friday from Downing Street, where he lives and works, Johnson said he would continue to lead the government’s response to the outbreak.
Media reports suggest his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, who normally lives with him in Downing Street, moved several days ago to the couple’s south London home to self-isolate there.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty, another key player in the UK’s response, also said Friday that he was in self-isolation after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.