Attack near polio vaccination centre in southwestern Pakistan killed
Tehreek -e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have claimed responsibility for an attack where a suicide bomber blew himself up near to a polio centre at Quetta’s Satellite Town, Balochistan on Wednesday. At least 14 people were killed and over 10 injured. Muhammad Khurasani spokesman for the group sent a press release to journalists headed,
“TTP’s Special Unit TSG successfully targeted forces at Satellite Town, Quetta”
“We accept the responsibility of attack on forces at Satellite Town, Quetta.”
“TTP’s special group TSG has successfully executed its target in Satellite Town area of Quetta. Ten (10) personnel got injured and other fourteen (14) were killed.” Muhammad Khurassani
Dawn reported that “a polio campaign in Quetta was relaunched in Satellite Town and other parts of Quetta on Wednesday afternoon” and “polio teams were being dispatched from the polio centre targeted today in the blast”according to security sources.
TTP were not the only ones to claim responsibility. CNN reported, “Jundallah spokesman Ahmad Marwat told CNN via text that this group was responsible and that it ‘will always target polio teams.'” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Marwat saying, “we claim the bomb blast on the polio office. In the coming days, we will make more attacks on polio vaccination offices and polio workers.”
Many polio workers have come under attack and been killed due to the actions of the US. In their hunt for Osama bin Laden, CIA went undercover using a vaccination programme and the services of Dr Shakil Afridi to locate him and in an effort to obtain DNA. The backlash of this was the kidnapping and killing of polio workers alleged to be “spies”. This led to a breakdown of the programme and now a rise in cases of polio in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan) an area of ongoing conflict.
The following tweet from Michael Kugelman, South Asia associate at The Wilson Centre was posted on social media and seems to reflect the impact of US presence and policy in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan
“in span of hours, a polio center has been bombed in Quetta, a major media outlet attacked in Isloo & Pak Consulate possibly targeted in Afg.” (Afghanistan)
ARY News comes under attack from Islamic State (Wilayat Khorasan)
One person hit by shrapnel during the attack (ARY News)
ARY News also came under attack from Islamic State (Wilayat Khorasan) with one person reported injured when their Islamabad office was targeted with a hand grenade and gunshots.
“unidentified assailants riding a motorbike lobbed a hand grenade on ARY News office and fired several shots on Wednesday evening. Security guards present at the office entrance retaliated swiftly forcing the attackers to flee away dropping pamphlets.”
A non-linear editor (NLE) suffered a head injury when he was hit with shrapnel and was taken to hospital to be treated.
ARY News coverage of the incident at their office, full story and images
Leaflet allegedly left by IS (Wilayat Khorasan)
Leaflets left at the scene detailed why ARY had been targeted.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.