Pakistan Sees Tragedy With Bomb at Poll Station Leaving 24 Dead

Published July 25th, 2018 - 11:48 GMT
A suicide blast outside a polling station in Quetta's Eastern Bypass area on Wednesday. (AFP/ File)
A suicide blast outside a polling station in Quetta's Eastern Bypass area on Wednesday. (AFP/ File)

A blast near a polling station in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta killed at least 24 people as millions voted on Wednesday in a nationwide election pitting cricket hero Imran Khan against the party of jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

A hospital spokesman in Quetta said 24 bodies and 35 injured people were taken to local hospitals.

A Reuters witness in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, said the blast occurred near a voting center.

"(The bomber) was trying to enter the polling station. When police tried to stop him he blew himself up," a local administration official in Quetta, Hashim Ghilzai, told AFP. 

The attack was claimed by ISIS terrorist group.

An earlier attack in the province on Wednesday left one policeman dead and three wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a polling station in the village of Koshk, in Khuzdar district.

About 371,000 soldiers have been stationed at polling stations across the country to prevent attacks, nearly five times the number deployed at the last election in 2013.

According to the latest opinion polls, neither Khan nor Sharif are likely to win a clear majority in the election.

Khan has emerged as a slight favorite in national opinion polls, but the divisive race is likely to come down to Punjab, the country's most populous province, where Sharif's party has clung to its lead in recent surveys.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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