Polio workers killed in Nigeria

Gunmen in Nigeria recently killed several polio vaccine workers in attacks on two clinics.

The killings echo recent attacks on polio workers in Pakistan that cost nine lives. The Nigerian polio workers, mostly women, had recently completed a four-day vaccination campaign in Kano State and were trying to identify children who had been missed. They were all shot in the back of the head, according to the New York Times.

Dr. Mohammad Ali Pate, Nigeria's minister of state for health, said that it remains unclear as to whether the gunman came looking for vaccine workers or whether they were attacking the health centers and happened to find the workers gathered there.

Nigerian police said that eight workers were shot in the early morning at a clinic in Kano, the state capital. Either two or three of the workers were killed, though reports still conflict. Two gunman then set fire to the clinic, locked the doors and left.

"We summoned our courage and broke the door because we realized they wanted to burn us alive," a survivor of the attack said, the New York Times reports.

Approximately an hour later, another clinic was attacked only a few miles away. Seven women were killed there who were waiting to collect vaccines.