ANI Photo | Nine Killed, Dozens Injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan election violence

At least nine people lost their lives, and over a dozen sustained injuries in a series of violent incidents on Thursday, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan district and multiple districts of Balochistan, as per Dawn.
In Dera Ismail Khan, five police personnel were martyred, and two others were injured as an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated within the jurisdiction of Kulachi police station.
According to Dawn, the incident occurred while a police vehicle was patrolling the Gara Aslam area of Kulachi for election security. Militants ambushed the vehicle, resulting in casualties.
Officials said that a police vehicle was patrolling the Gara Aslam area of Kulachi for election security when the explosive device went off. “Besides the IED, militants fired at the vehicle,” a police official said, adding the militants escaped when an additional contingent of police reached the site.
Officials also informed that the area was immediately cordoned off following the incident and a search operation was launched. The martyred and injured were shifted to the district headquarters hospital, reported by Dawn.
The martyred personnel were identified as Sulman Yousaf, Sabir, Israr Ahmad, Ali Muhammad, and Driver Zeeshan, while the injured were identified as Jan Dost and Mushtaq.
Furthermore, polling stations in Gwadar, Kech, and Panjgur districts of Balochistan faced grenade and rocket attacks, claiming the lives of five police officers in the D.I. Khan blast. Additionally, the toll rose to 30 in Khanozai and Qila Saifullah due to bomb explosions.
In a statement, Balochistan Minister for Information Jan Achakzai confirmed the death toll and noted that the Islamic State (Wilayah Pakistan) claimed responsibility for targeting the election office of an independent candidate in Khanozai as reported by Dawn.
Meanwhile, amid the violence, polling in central, southern, and northern districts proceeded peacefully with tightened security measures.
The incidents underscore the challenges faced during the election process in certain regions, emphasizing the need for heightened security measures and vigilance to ensure the safety of citizens and electoral processes.

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