13:15 GMT +316 July 2019
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    Pakistani police officers and rescue workers gather at the site of suicide bombing targeting a polio vaccination center in Quetta, Pakistan, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.

    Attack on Pakistan Polio Clinic Recalls CIA Vaccination Ruse

    © AP Photo / Arshad Butt
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    At least 15 people were killed and 25 wounded on Wednesday in a bomb blast that targeted a polio eradication center similar to one previously used by the CIA to track terrorists in the region.

    The bomb reportedly hit a police van accompanying health workers participating in a drive aimed at immunizing young children.

    "The police team had arrived to escort teams for the polio campaign," Ahsan Mehboob, the provincial police chief, told Reuters. He added, "It was a suicide blast, we have gathered evidence from the scene."

    According to Reuters, two groups claimed responsibility: the Pakistani Taliban and Jundullah, which has ties to the Taliban.

    In 2011, the CIA orchestrated a fake vaccination drive at a polio facility in Abbottabad as part of the hunt for Osama Bin Ladin. Since then, facilities in the region and their workers have fallen under distrust.

    A spokesperson for Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign affairs last year criticized the CIA for undermining world health efforts to eradicate polio, pointing out that it "further reinforced the negative perception about the agenda behind the polio eradication campaign."

    Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two remaining countries in the world where polio continues to be transmitted.

    Tags:
    Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), suicide attack, polio, Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan
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