At least 22 people were killed Wednesday in two separate bomb attacks in Southwestern Pakistan, hours before polling stations open for voting in provincial and national elections Thursday. The first blast in Pishin district, 35 miles north of the Balochistan provincial capital, Quetta, killed at least 12 people and injured 25 after an improvised explosive device aboard a motorcycle was detonated near the office of an independent election candidate, said Balochistan caretaker information minister Jan Achakzai.
A few hours later, a second blast in front of the office of a candidate of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, one of the main religious parties, Thursday’s elections killed at least 10 people 90 miles to the west in Qila Saifullah, Achakzai said.
Victims injured in the blast were being evacuated by helicopter to hospitals in Quetta. Achakzai said the “terrorists wanted to disturb election activities,” but pledged his government would make sure law and order prevailed on polling day. Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz warned those responsible that they would face harsh consequences.”The miscreants want to defame Pakistan by creating unrest during the elections. Those who play with the lives of innocent citizens will be dealt with with iron hands,” he wrote in a post on X. (UPI)
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