Death toll rises to 8 UN health workers in Pakistan

The attack on the woman was one of five that took place on polio workers in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday. One male polio worker was critically wounded, while the others managed to escape unharmed.

The recent killings prompted the UN's public health arm to suspend work on the vaccination drive in two of Pakistan's four provinces on Wednesday, a major setback for a campaign that international health officials consider vital to contain the crippling disease but which Taliban insurgents say is a cover for espionage.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Suspicion has fallen on the Pakistani Taliban because of their virulent opposition to the polio campaign, but the group's spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, denied responsibility in a telephone call to The Associated Press.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio is endemic. Prevention efforts have managed to reduce the number of cases in Pakistan by around 70% this year

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