At least five Pakistani policemen escorting polio workers injured in armed attack

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Attackers armed with guns and hand grenades ambushed a police van assigned to guard polio workers in northwestern Pakistan, wounding five policemen, authorities said.

Police returned fire after coming under attack near a bridge in Dera Ismail Khan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to local police chief Aman Ullah.

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The police chief, who was traveling with the convoy to a nearby vaccination site, said between six to eight suspected militants ambushed them, opened fire and threw hand grenades at the police van.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but extremist militants often target polio teams and police protecting them, falsely claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize children. The latest anti-polio campaign started this week, the first in 2023.

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