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.


Taiwan says it won’t bow to pressure amid China tension

Updated 45 min 44 sec ago
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Taiwan says it won’t bow to pressure amid China tension

  • Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016
  • New pressure tactics included rising Chinese scrutiny over how companies from airlines to retailers refer to Taiwan
TAIPEI: Taiwan will not bow to Chinese pressure and called for international support against Beijing’s “out-of-control actions,” a presidential spokesman said on Thursday, after Beijing urged companies to change the way they refer to the self-ruled island.
“As for China’s related out-of-control actions, we need to remind the international community to face this squarely and to unite efforts to reduce and contain these actions,” Alex Huang, the spokesman for President Tsai Ing-wen, told reporters in Taipei.
Companies including Apple and Amazon have “wrongly labelled” Taiwan and should take immediate actions to correct it, the state-run Legal Daily reported on Wednesday, citing a report released by Chinese government think tanks.
Beijing has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai, from the pro-independence ruling party, took office in 2016. That has included rising Chinese scrutiny over how companies from airlines, such as Air Canada, to retailers, such as Gap , refer to the democratic island in recent months.