March 1st, 2024

Pair of bombings at election offices kill 24 in Pakistan the day before elections

By Abdul Sattar, The Associated Press on February 7, 2024.

This is a locator map for Pakistan with its capital, Islamabad, and the Kashmir region. (AP Photo)

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) – A pair of bombings at the election offices of a political party and an independent candidate in southwest Pakistan killed at least 24 people and wounded more than two dozen others, officials said Wednesday, the day before parliamentary elections are to be held.

The first attack happened in Pashin, a district in Baluchistan province, said Jan Achakzai, the spokesperson for the provincial government. Officials said at least 14 people were killed in the attack and the wounded are being transported to a nearby hospital. Police said some of them were listed in critical condition.

Later Wednesday, another bombing at the elections office of politician Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema Islam party in Qilla Saifullah town of Baluchistan killed at least 10 people, Acahkzai and local authorities said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came a day before Pakistan holds parliamentary elections. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ijaz denounced the bombings.

The bombing came despite the deployment of tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces across Pakistan to ensure peace following a recent surge in militant attacks in the country, especially in Baluchistan.

The gas-rich Baluchistan province at the border of Afghanistan and Iran has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists for more than two decades. Baluch nationalists initially wanted a share of the provincial resources, but later they initiated an insurgency for independence.

Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups also have a strong presence in the province.

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