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Militants Kidnap 11 Pakistani Teachers Involved In Polio Vaccination Campaign

“Militants kidnapped 11 Pakistani teachers involved in a polio vaccination campaign for school children on Saturday, officials said, the latest in a string of attacks on health workers trying to eradicate the deadly disease,” Reuters reports (Ahmad, 11/23). “Authorities said the workers were kidnapped on Thursday from the Bara area by Lashkar-e-Islam, the militant group in the country’s Khyber tribal district,” Agence France-Presse writes (11/24). “Tribal elders in the region are reportedly negotiating with suspected militants to release the kidnapped polio workers,” according to BBC News (11/23). “Militants frequently attack polio vaccination workers in Pakistan, accusing them of being Western spies or part of a plot to sterilize Muslims,” VOA News notes (11/23). “The kidnappings came as Imran Khan, the opposition politician whose party controls Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, gave Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s prime minister, until November 23 to stop the U.S. drone program or he would order the closure of NATO supply routes in the province,” Reuters/Al Jazeera adds (11/23).