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Pakistan polls 2024: Blasts target candidates’ offices, over 20 killed on eve of election

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NEW DELHI: A day ahead of the Pakistan general elections, two blasts took place near electoral candidates’ offices in Pakistan’s Balochistan, local officials reported on Wednesday. As per the report, the blast has killed 25 people, raising concerns about the security situation ahead of the upcoming polls on Thursday.
The first blast, which claimed the lives of nearly 15 individuals and injured 30, took place at the office of an independent candidate, Asfand Yar Khan Kakar, in Pishin district.
Kakar, who is contesting elections from NA-265 constituency and Balochistan assembly constituencies — PB-47 and PB-48, was not present at his office during the blast. “Eight of our workers were martyred, and more than 18 were injured in the explosion when the names of the polling agents were being finalized in the election office,” Kakar told Geo News.
The second explosion occurred in Qilla Saifullah, a town near the Afghan border, near an office of Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), a religious party that has previously been targeted by militants.
It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the blasts. Several groups, including the Islamist militant Pakistani Taliban and Balochistan separatists, oppose the Pakistani state and have carried out recent attacks.
According to Geo News, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is investigating the explosion and has requested a report from the Balochistan chief secretary and Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The attacks occurred as political parties concluded their campaigns during the quiet period mandated by electoral regulations on the day prior to the election.
Pakistan is preparing for the elections amidst a surge in militant attacks and the imprisonment of Imran Khan, the winner of the previous national election.
Pakistan goes to polls on February 8.
(With inputs from agencies)

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