“Double Bombings Rock Pakistan’s Election Offices, Claiming 24 Lives Ahead of Parliamentary Elections”
In a devastating turn of events, two separate bombings struck election offices in Pakistan on Wednesday, leaving at least 24 dead and over two dozen wounded just a day before the parliamentary elections. The first attack occurred in the Pashin district of Baluchistan province, with 14 casualties reported, including individuals in critical condition. The injured are currently being rushed to a nearby hospital.
In a simultaneous assault, the election office of politician Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema Islam party in Qilla Saifullah town faced a bombing that resulted in the death of at least 10 people, according to provincial government spokesperson Jan Achakzai and local authorities.
Despite the deployment of tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces across Pakistan to ensure peace ahead of the elections, these tragic incidents unfolded. Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz condemned the bombings, expressing deep concern over the violence.
Notably, no group has claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks. The bombings occurred amidst a backdrop of heightened security measures due to a recent surge in militant activities in the country, particularly in Baluchistan.
#Pakistan 26 people were killed in two big blasts in #Balochistan within an hour. The first explosion took place in Khanuzai area of Pishin while the second one took place in Qilla Saifullah. 14 people died in Khanuzai Pishin blast, while 12 people died in Qila Saifullah Blast… https://t.co/NL4C8YBm0d pic.twitter.com/jCE4sJGxOM
— Ghulam Abbas Shah (@ghulamabbasshah) February 7, 2024
The outlawed Baluchistan Liberation Army, known for its attacks on security forces in the region bordering Afghanistan and Iran, has been a source of ongoing security challenges. Just last week, a faction of the Baluchistan Liberation Army targeted security facilities in Baluchistan’s Mach district, resulting in the loss of six lives.
Pakistan has grappled with increasing militancy, particularly in areas that were once strongholds of the Pakistan Taliban. Baluchistan province, rich in natural gas and situated at the border of Afghanistan and Iran, has been a hotbed of insurgency led by Baluch nationalists for over two decades. Initially rooted in demands for a fair share of provincial resources, the insurgency later evolved into a movement for independence.
The province is also home to a significant presence of Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups, posing continuous challenges to the security landscape in the region.