Under police guard, thousands of health workers pressed on with a polio immunization program Thursday after nine were killed elsewhere in Pakistan by suspected militants who oppose the vaccination campaign.
Immunizations were halted in some parts of Pakistan and the United Nations suspended its field participation everywhere until better security was arranged for its workers. The violence risks reversing recent progress fighting polio in Pakistan, one of three countries in the world where the disease is endemic.
The Taliban have denied responsibility for the shootings. Militants have accused health workers of acting as spies for the United States, alleging the vaccine is intended to make Muslim children sterile.
Polio workers were escorted by the police to continue their work. This is good news but it has not addressed the core problem of complete misunderstanding and paranoia about the program.