Pakistan: Election commission seeks report on Balochistan bombings

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The Pakistan Election Commission on Friday took notice of the bomb and grenade attacks in Balochistan and sought detailed reports from the Balochistan inspector general of police and chief secretary, Dawn News reported. A few days before the Pakistan general elections on February 8, at least ten bombs and grenade attacks rocked different areas of Balochistan in one day, resulting in the death of one man, Dawn News reported quoting a provincial government official.

After the attacks, the Balochistan government tightened security in all cities and towns across the province. The Pakistan-based news daily reported that several police stations and deputy commissioners’ offices were targeted in the attacks in which six people, including a police officer and a jail warden, were injured. “At least 10 bomb and grenade attacks happened across Balochistan, including provincial capital Quetta,” the senior official said.

In the attacks in Quetta, Khuzdar and Turbat, the offices of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and National Party, and a joint office of Balochistan National Party- Mengal (BNP-M) and Jamiat-e-Islami-Faizal (JUI-F) were targeted with grenades. However, no loss of life was reported. The offices of deputy commissioners in Dhadar and Panjgur were also targeted with hand grenades.

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While, a bomb planted along a footpath on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road in the Spinny area of Quetta, went off, killing a passerby, according to Quetta SSP (operations) Jawad Tariq. The intensity of the blast rocked several areas of the provincial capital, according to officials. The police cordoned off the area and shifted the body to Civil Hospital. Hospital officials said the victim’s body was mutilated due to his proximity to the bomb at the time of the blast.

The deceased was identified as 84-year-old Abdul Khaliq Shah. SSP Tariq added that around 8kg of explosive was used in the improvised explosive device. The target of the bomb was unknown as there was no election campaign-related event scheduled within the vicinity, the SSP said, adding that security was already on high alert due to the upcoming elections. In another attack near Quetta’s outskirts, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), Ghulam Raza, was injured.

Unknown attackers hurled a hand grenade at the Shalkot police station, which exploded in the courtyard. The attack damaged the station’s building and some vehicles in the parking area. The injured police officer was admitted to the Civil Hospital. In Mastung, the central prison was attacked by hand grenades, which exploded inside the jail, resulting in damage to the building. The jail warder was injured in the attack.

In the attacks in Quetta, Khuzdar and Turbat, the offices of PML-N and National Party, and a joint office of BNP-M and JUI-F were targeted with grenades. However, no loss of life was reported. The offices of deputy commissioners in Dhadar and Panjgur were also targeted with hand grenades. One person was injured in another grenade attack on the house of the Kachhi deputy commissioner, Dawn News reported.

In a blast in the Turbat market area, one person was injured while a grenade was also lobbed at police and FC posts, but no casualty was reported. Unknown attackers also attacked the Hub City Police Station, while a grenade was recovered from the gate of the Pakistan Coast Guards Office, which could not explode.