KARACHI - The anti-polio campaign was suspended in Karachi’s Orangi Town No 4 on Monday after a policeman was shot in the area.

According to reports, the policeman, identified as ASI Tabasum, was on duty, providing security to polio workers.

The attack took place on the first day of a four-day local anti-polio campaign in the western neighbourhood. Unidentified gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire at the team and then fled, police said.

“Two gunmen opened fire at the policeman who was on duty to guard the vaccinators,” Ali Asif, a senior police official in the area, told AFP, adding that the vaccination campaign in the area had now been postponed.

The policeman was critically injured after a bullet passed through his skull, Doctor Mohammad Abid in the city’s Abbasi Shaheed hospital said.

At least twenty policemen have been killed across the city in the current month.

Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic. Attempts to stamp it out have been badly hit by opposition from militants and attacks on immunisation teams that have claimed 68 lives since December 2012.

The militants claim that polio vaccination is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise people. Apart from attacks on vaccination teams, Karachi is rife with criminal, ethnic, political and sectarian killings which claim hundreds of lives.