A day before Pak polls At least 30 killed,52 injured in twinblasts in Balochistan
   Date :08-Feb-2024

bomb blast in Khanozai
 Security officials examine the scene of a bomb blast in Khanozai in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Wednesday.
AT LEAST 30 people were killed and 52 others injured on Wednesday in two devastating bomb blasts targeting election offices in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, a day before the general elections in the coup-prone country. In the first incident, a powerful blast outside the office of Independent candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar in Pishin district killed 20 people and wounded 30 others. Less than an hour later, another bomb blast took place outside the election office of a Jamiat-Ulema Islam-Pakistan in the Killa Abdullah area claiming the lives of ten people and injuring 22 others. Abdullah Zehri, a senior police official in Balochistan Panjgur, said that the blast outside the election office of candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar was detonated remotely and was placed in a bag outside the building. “The condition of some of the injured is critical and they have been rushed to Quetta for treatment,” he said. He said so far the body count from the blast was 20 but the casualties could rise.
“Terrorists are targeting the election candidates to deter people from going to the polling stations but security personnel are being increased further to ensure the elections go ahead on schedule,” Zehri said. According to local media reports, a powerful blast had ripped through the election office of a JUI candidate in the Killa Abdullah area and caused great damage in which eight people had already been killed. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) confirmed the two blasts and said security had been further enhanced in the province for Thursday’s elections. “The perpetrators of these terror attacks will be caught and dealt with,” a spokesperson of the ECP said. In a statement, Balochistan’s Home Minister Jan Achakzai condemned the attacks and announced that elections would be held as per schedule. “In light of the tragic Pishin blast, which claimed the lives of 20 individuals and left 30 others injured, and Qilla Saifullah blast, which killed 10 people, it is important to emphasize that the scheduled elections will proceed as planned,” he said in a statement on X.
“Allow me to reiterate our unwavering commitment to relentlessly pursue terrorists until every last one of them is eliminated…Rest assured, we will not allow terrorists to undermine or sabotage this crucial democratic process,” he further said. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz has strongly condemned the blast outside the election office of an independent candidate in Pishin. According to a post on X, the Interim Minister offered his condolences to the families of the deceased. The attacks came ahead of elections on Thursday for which elaborate security measures have been taken by the authorities. Violence has been at its peak in Balochistan, bordering Afghanistan and Iran, in the lead-up to the February 8 general elections in Pakistan. On Tuesday, 10 grenade attacks were carried out at security posts, election campaign offices and rallies in different areas of the province. Since Sunday, there have been around 50 such attacks carried out in the province.