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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ban ‘strongly condemns’ spate of deadly terrorist attacks in Pakistan




Polio vaccinators traverse floodwaters in Sindh Province, Pakistan, to reach children during a September 2012 immunization campaign. Photo: UNICEF/Asad Zaidi

22 January 2014 – Reiterating deep concern over continued terrorist attacks and sectarian violence in Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned a spate of deadly violence in the country, including the bombing of a market earlier this week in Rawalpindi, and a series of attacks against polio workers.

In a statement issued by his spokesman New York, Mr. Ban deplored the bombing at a market in Rawalpindi on 20 January that left at least 13 dead, as well as yesterday’s attack in Baluchistan, Pakistan, on a bus carrying Shia pilgrims returning from Iran, which reportedly killed more than 20 people and injured many more, including women and children.

“The Secretary-General is also deeply concerned about the recent attacks on polio workers, which have resulted in several deaths,” the statement said, adding that: “These unacceptable attacks are hampering efforts to eradicate the disease in Pakistan, one of the last three countries where polio remains endemic.” The number of polio cases in Pakistan increased by 57 per cent last year, from 58 cases in 2012 to 91 in 2013.

“The Secretary-General expresses his heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of Pakistan. He stresses the United Nations’ commitment to supporting the Government in its efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism,” says the statement.

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