2 anti-polio workers killed in FATA

A Pakistani health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child during a polio campaign in Karachi on March 14, 2018. Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio, a crippling childhood disease, remains endemic. (AFP/Asif Hassan)
Updated 18 March 2018
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2 anti-polio workers killed in FATA

PESHAWAR: An official handout circulated by Mohmand Agency’s political administration confirmed on Sunday that a group of unidentified assailants ambushed a seven-member anti-polio monitoring team in the area on Saturday, killing two of its workers.
The handout announced that five other members of the same team went missing immediately after the incident, adding that the authorities launched an extensive search operation in response and finally managed to recover them.
However, a contingent of security personnel also came under fire while combing the area for miscreants and the lost team members in which a Frontier Constabulary soldier lost his life and two others were injured
The team had gone into Mohmand Agency for post-vaccination campaign monitoring when a group of unidentified assailants ambushed its members, Aqeel Ahmed, an official at the FATA Emergency Operations Center, told Arab News.
Such attacks greatly demoralize anti-polio workers, and vaccination campaigns have often been suspended because of them, he said.
Militants in the restive tribal region have frequently targeted anti-polio workers in the recent past, leaving children vulnerable to the disease.
It is a risky job administering polio vaccinations to children, said Arsalan Ahmed, an anti-polio worker in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“I came to know about the Mohmand Agency attack in the morning, but I don’t want to reveal it to the vaccinators in our area because it will greatly demoralize them,” he added.
Vaccinators feel unsafe while performing their duty since they do not get a police escort, said polio monitor Akhtar Ali. 
But during anti-polio campaigns, police contingents are deployed at entry and exit points in various localities, he added.


Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

Updated 16 November 2018
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Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Normal life has returned to a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Bangladesh a day after government officials abandoned plans to begin repatriating residents to Myanmar after finding no one wanted to go.
About 500 refugees crowded into a mosque on Friday for prayers in Unchiprang, one of the camps near the city of Cox’s Bazar that house more than 700,000 Rohingya who fled military-led violence in Myanmar.
An imam told the devotees that the government could not force Rohingya to go back without Myanmar guaranteeing them protection and civil rights, to which they replied, “Amen.”
Some people on the government’s repatriation list left their shanties and disappeared into other camps to avoid being sent home, while others joined a large demonstration against the plan.
Some who fled returned Friday.