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Nigeria atrocities increase

Post  Panda on Fri 8 Feb - 16:46

Nigeria: Extremists gun down nine women giving polio vaccines to

Drive-by gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on health workers about to give
polio vaccines to children in northern Nigeria, killing nine women in twin
attacks blamed on Islamic fundamentalists.

Nigerian women wait for their
children to be immunised against polio in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. Photo: EPA

By Mike Pflanz, West Africa

3:05PM GMT 08 Feb 2013

Another four people were injured in the two separate incidents in Kano in
Nigeria's majority-Muslim north, where the al-Qaeda-allied militant group Boko
Haram operates.

The group has previously claimed that inoculations were a Western plot to
sterilise Nigerian women, and its members were suspected in another shooting in
October that left two guards at a polio vaccine centre dead.

"The health workers were assembling at a dispensary before beginning their
daily rounds when the first attackers arrived and opened fire," said Musa
Mugaji, Kano's police spokesman.

"There was another attack just soon after elsewhere in the city. Today nine
good people helping others have been killed."

One woman who was shot in the back described from her hospital bed how two
gunmen stormed into her clinic and opened fire, killing two of her colleagues.

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They then set fire to a curtain in the consultation room and fled, shutting
the door behind them.

"We summoned courage and broke the door because we realised they wanted to
burn us alive," the woman said. She was too afraid to give her name.

One senior Muslim leader in Kano claimed a decade ago that polio vaccines
"were corrupted and tainted by evildoers from America and their Western allies".

Panicked families stopped inoculating their children, leading to an outbreak
of polio in Nigeria, one of only three countries in the world, with Afghanistan
and Pakistan, where the virus is still endemic.

In December and January, 19 polio vaccination
workers were killed in Pakistan
, where Islamic fundamentalists
accuse health workers of being US spies.

Those rumours grew after it was revealed a Pakistani doctor ran a fake
vaccination program to help the CIA track down and kill Osama bin Laden
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