MARDAN - A policeman was killed by unidentified gunmen in Khavo Killy area on the outskirts of Mardan on Tuesday while protecting an anti-polio vaccination team, official sources said, bringing the death toll in such attacks to 20 since December.

No group claimed the responsibility for the attack that came on the second day of a three-day anti-polio drive.

The female vaccinator went inside a house to administer the polio drops. A police guard accompanying the team was waiting outside, when attackers came on motorbikes and shot him dead, Danishwar Khan, Mardan district police chief, said.

Saeed Mohammad, who was escorting lady health worker Farida and her spouse Sardarul Haq, received gunshot wounds and died on the spot. Police have registered a case against the attackers and started investigation.

In January two polio vaccination workers, a policeman and seven members of a charity involved in polio vaccinations were shot dead in three separate incidents across the northwest.

In December gunmen killed nine health workers carrying out polio vaccinations in Karachi and the northwest.

Meanwhile, a man killed his wife over a minor quarrel and later committed suicide in the remit of the Hoti Police Station, sources said. Iftikhar, son of Mir Din, a resident of Manduri area, shot dead his spouse Nighat on a trivial row and later killed himself with the same pistol.

Police have registered a case on the complaint of the victim’s brother Aziz Khan.