- Polio's Surprising Comeback
Taliban Assassins Target Pakistan's Polio Vaccinators
Health workers—many of them women—continue to face bullets and bombs as they inoculate children.
PESHAWAR, PakistanNaseer was pacing outside the operating room in a Peshawar hospital. Inside, surgeons were trying to extract a bullet from his wife's leg and grenade shrapnel from his son and a young relative. They had been wounded when the Taliban attacked their house.
Then Naseer's cell phone rang. "This is the Taliban. Give us $2,500 or we'll kill you and your family."
"What do you mean?" Naseer yelled. "You already tried to kill us!"
"You think bullets are free like the air?" Naseer recalls the Taliban commander saying. "That attack on your house cost us money. Pay us or we'll finish the job."
The night before, Naseer and his wife, Bibi, had gone to bed just before midnight, exhausted after three days of hauling