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Pakistan election: Two deadly blasts in Balochistan day before vote

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Two bomb explosions have killed at least 22 people in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on the eve of general elections, officials say.

The first blast killed 14 people in front of an independent candidate’s party office in Pishin district.

A second explosion left eight people dead in Qillah Saif Ullah district, about 150km (93 miles) away. Many others were injured in the two blasts.

The election has been marred by violence and claims of poll-rigging.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack in Pishin, a town about 50km from the city of Quetta and 100km south-east of the Afghan border. The provincial authorities said 25 people were also wounded.

Images on social media show cars and motorbikes blown apart by the force of the explosion. It took place outside the election office of a local independent candidate who officials told the BBC was meeting his polling agent at the time.

Details of the second blast are still emerging. A senior police official told AFP news agency it took place in Qillah Saif Ullah’s main bazaar, targeting the election office of the JUI-F party.

There have been violent incidents in both Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces in the last week or so in the build-up to Thursday’s vote.

Police are trying to determine the cause of the blasts and the injured have been transported to nearby hospitals.

The Balochistan government said the vote would proceed as planned.

“Rest assured, we will not allow terrorists to undermine or sabotage this crucial democratic process,” provincial information minister Jan Achakzai posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Source: BBC News