At least 14 people killed, 20 wounded as blast hits near polio vaccination centre in city of Quetta.

A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a polio eradication centre in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta, police said following the latest attack on the polio campaign in the country.

At least 14 people have been killed and 20 others injured in the explosion on Wednesday.

The bomb ripped through a police van that had just arrived at the centre to provide an escort for vaccination workers engaged in a drive to immunise all children under five years old in the province of Balochistan.

Rescue teams shifted the victims to the Civil Hospital in Quetta, where an emergency was declared.

The attack comes after the anti-polio campaign was relaunched in Quetta and other districts of Balochistan on Monday.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said most of the dead were security forces on their way to guard the polio vaccination centre, which was in the last day of a programme.

“One passer-by was also killed in the explosion,” Hyder reported.

No one’s claimed responsibility, but fighters linked with Al Qaeda have targeted vaccine health workers in the past.

Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world that remains on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of polio-endemic countries.

The campaign faced threats against polio vaccination teams issued by armed groups such as the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) and its allies in the past.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies


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