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Dual explosions outside Pakistani candidates' offices in Balochistan claim 25 lives.

Image credit-Mid-day

In Karachi, Pakistan, tragedy struck as twin bomb blasts rocked election offices in the Balochistan province, claiming the lives of at least 25 individuals and leaving 42 others wounded, just one day before the nation's general elections. The first explosion occurred outside the office of independent candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar in Pishin district, resulting in 17 fatalities and 30 injuries. Subsequently, another blast targeted the election office of Jamiat-Ulema Islam-Pakistan in the Killa Abdullah area, claiming the lives of eight people and injuring 12 others. Senior police official Abdullah Zehri disclosed that the initial blast outside Kakar's office was detonated remotely and placed in a bag outside the building, with some injured individuals in critical condition being rushed to Quetta for treatment.

The incidents reflect a pattern of violence aimed at disrupting the democratic process, with terrorists targeting election candidates to discourage voter turnout. However, security measures have been bolstered to ensure the elections proceed as planned, as affirmed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Balochistan's Home Minister Jan Achakzai condemned the attacks, emphasizing the government's commitment to upholding the electoral process and combating terrorism. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz also condemned the blasts and offered condolences to the bereaved families.

The attacks in Balochistan occur amidst heightened security concerns leading up to the general elections, with the province witnessing numerous incidents of violence, including grenade attacks and targeted assaults on election rallies and campaign offices. Outlawed separatist groups have intensified their activities, aiming to assert local rights and challenge government control over mineral resources in the region. Despite law enforcement efforts to thwart attacks and maintain order, the volatile situation underscores the challenges of ensuring security and stability in Balochistan during the electoral period.

Feb. 7, 2024 4:34 p.m. 1584

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