Monday, 3 March 2014

Pakistan and Nigeria - Islamists against health and education

Another deadly attack on health workers trying to fight polio in Pakistan (see also my blog of Feb 24). At least 11 people were killed by a roadside bomb in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the Afghan border.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the Taliban oppose polio vaccination, which is claimed to be part of a Western plot to sterilise Muslims. Pakistan is now one of only 3 countries where polio remains endemic (Afghanistan and Nigeria are the others). Indeed it is on the increase.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, the Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, whose name apparently means ‘western education is forbidden’, have murdered 40 schoolchildren aged 11 to 18 in the town of Buni Yadi in the north-eastern state of Yobe.

A teacher said the assailants locked the victims in buildings then set fire to them. Those who managed to escape by climbing out of windows had their throats slit. Boko Haram is estimated to have murdered more than 300 civilians during the past month.

* Article on my new book Flood: Nature and Culture from the Camden New Journal -

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