2 killed in latest attack on Pakistan polio workers

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Updated 20 May 2014
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2 killed in latest attack on Pakistan polio workers

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Two policemen guarding a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan were were shot dead by armed men on Tuesday, police said, the latest setback to efforts to eradicate the crippling disease.
Militant strikes and threats of violence have badly hampered a campaign to stamp out polio in Pakistan, which along with Nigeria and Afghanistan are the only countries where the disease remains endemic.
Tuesday's attack took place in the village of Gandi Umar Khan, about 20 km west of the nearest city of Dera Ismail Khan, on the second day of an innoculation drive, senior police official Sadiq Baluch said.
Nisar Khan Marwat, another police officer, confirmed the attack, adding: "Two police officials were accompanying two local polio workers when four gunmen riding on two motorbikes shot at them."
The policemen died on the spot while the polio workers themselves were unhurt, he added.
According to an AFP tally, 54 people have been killed in attacks on polio teams in Pakistan since December 2012.
Pakistan recorded 91 cases of polio last year, up from 58 in 2012, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Victims are left dead, paralysed or with withered limbs.
Pakistan's failure to defeat polio stands in stark contrast to its neighbour and great rival India, which recently celebrated the eradication of polio three years after its last case.
The WHO has warned that Peshawar, the main city of the northwest, is the world's "largest reservoir" of polio.
Earlier this month, a bomb attack on a polio team in the restive northwest killed 12 people including 11 paramilitary troops guarding a team of vaccinators.


Corbyn: Labour government would quickly recognize Palestine

Updated 22 June 2018
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Corbyn: Labour government would quickly recognize Palestine

  • British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state "very early on" and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
  • Corbyn spoke during his first international trip outside Europe since he was elected Labour Party leader in 2015.

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan: British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said Friday that a government under his leadership would recognize a Palestinian state "very early on" and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian civil war.
Corbyn spoke during his first international trip outside Europe since he was elected Labour Party leader in 2015.
On Friday, he toured Zaatari, Jordan's largest camp for Syrian refugees. On Saturday, he is to visit a decades-old camp for Palestinians uprooted during Arab-Israeli wars.
In Zaatari, he walked through the camp market, lined by hundreds of stalls, where he sampled falafel and chatted with a sweets vendor who told him his dream is to return to Syria as soon as possible. Corbyn also inspected a sprawling solar power installation that provides about 12 hours a day of electricity to the camp's 80,000 residents.
Labour under Corbyn gained parliament seats, but narrowly lost to Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party in 2017 snap elections.
Opinion polling suggests the two parties are neck and neck. Britain is not scheduled to have another election until 2022, but there could be an early vote if May's fragile minority government suffers a major defeat in Parliament.
With his visit to Jordan, Corbyn appeared to be burnishing his foreign policy credentials.
Taking questions from reporters in the Zaatari market, he said that a Labour government would "work very, very hard to regenerate the peace process" in Syria. He said two parallel sets of talks about a solution for Syria would need to "come together," but did not offer specifics.
Without a solution in Syria, "the conflict will continue, more people will die in Syria and many many more will go to refugee camps, either here in Jordan or come to Europe or elsewhere," he told The Associated Press.