Nigeria: Suspected Islamist extremists kill 9 women taking part in polio vaccination drive

Health workers board a vehicle that will take them to polio vaccination centers in Lagos, Nigeria.

Suspected Islamist extremists shot dead at least nine women in two separate attacks on health care workers administering polio vaccinations in northern Nigeria on Friday.

The Associated Press reported the deadly attacks happened in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mostly Muslim north. Witnesses believe the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram was behind the shootings.

"The health workers were assembling at a dispensary before beginning their daily rounds when the first attackers arrived and opened fire," Musa Mugaji, Kano's police spokesman, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.

"There was another attack just soon after elsewhere in the city. Today nine good people helping others have been killed."

Boko Haram has previously claimed the vaccinations were a “Western plot to sterilize Nigerian women,” The Telegraph reported.

Reuters said the fundamentalist group’s campaign against the inoculations has led to a resurgence of the virus in parts of Nigeria and other African countries.

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