At least 27 people killed and several others injured in blasts in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province outside candidate offices, a day before the country holds its general election.
The explosions occurred despite tens of thousands of police and paramilitary personnel stationed around Pakistan to maintain order in the wake of a recent spike in militant strikes, particularly in Balochistan. It was not immediately clear who was behind Wednesday’s attack. Several groups, including the Islamist militant Pakistani Taliban and separatist groups from Balochistan, oppose the Pakistani state and have carried out attacks in recent months.
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.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) confirmed the two blasts and said security had been further enhanced in the province for Thursday’s elections.
Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz has strongly condemned the blast outside the election office of an independent candidate in Pishin.