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Four polio workers killed by gunman

Four health workers were killed when gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team in Pakistan today.

The attack on the health workers took place in the south-western city of Quetta, where t he vaccination team of three women and three men was waiting for a police escort when two gunmen opened fire.

Local militants oppose the vaccination campaign, alleging that western governments use it as a cover to spy on insurgents.

A Pakistani used the same method of a fake vaccination drive to collect evidence on al Qaida's former chief Osama bin Laden, which led to his killing by a US special forces team in a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio, which can cause paralysis and death, remains endemic.

The incidence of polio in Pakistan has hit a 15-year high - the World Health Organization has already registered 235 cases since January.

Attempts to administer the vaccine have been hindered by militant attacks that have killed hundreds of health workers.

Meanwhile, a suspected US drone strike targeted a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border, killing four militant.

The region has long been a safe haven for local and al Qaida-linked foreign militants who have been waging a war against the Pakistani state to enforce their own harsh brand of Islamic law.

The Pakistani army launched a major offensive in North Waziristan in mid-June, and claims to having killed more than 1,200 militants so far.

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