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24 dead after bombings at election offices in Pakistan day before elections


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A couple of bombings in Pakistan at the election offices of a political party and an independent candidate killed at least 24 people and wounded more than two dozen others on Wednesday, the day before parliamentary elections.

The first attack happened in Pashin, a district in Baluchistan province, provincial government spokesperson Jan Achakzai said. Officials said at least 14 people were killed in the attack and the wounded, which includes some in critical condition, are being rushed to a nearby hospital.

Another bombing at the elections office of politician Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema Islam party in the Qilla Saifullah town of Baluchistan killed at least 10 people, according to Acahkzai and local authorities.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz denounced the bombings.

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A pair of bombings in Pakistan at election offices killed at least 24 people and wounded more than two dozen others the day before parliamentary elections. (Encyclopaedia Britannica/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The bombings came despite the tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces being deployed across Pakistan to ensure peace after a recent rise in militant attacks in the country, especially Baluchistan.

The outlawed Baluchistan Liberation Army has been behind multiple attacks on security forces in Baluchistan bordering Afghanistan and Iran. Last week, a separatist Baluchistan Liberation Army group attacked security facilities in Baluchistan’s Mach district, killing six people.

Pakistan has struggled in recent years to control surging militancy, especially in the former stronghold of the Pakistan Taliban. Militants have a presence in Baluchistan and have targeted civilians in recent years.

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Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz

Pakistan’s caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz (right) and caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi (left) address a press conference on election safety in Islamabad on Feb. 6, 2024, ahead of the upcoming general election. (Getty Images)

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The gas-rich Baluchistan province at the border of Afghanistan and Iran has been the location of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists for more than 20 years. Baluch nationalists initially wanted a share of the provincial resources, but later they started an insurgency for independence.

Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups also have a strong presence in the province.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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