At least 30 killed in suicide blast on Pakistan polling station

At least 30 people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bomb attack on a polling station as millions of Pakistanis voted in a nationwide election Wednesday.

“(The bomber) was trying to enter the polling station. When police tried to stop him he blew himself up,” a local administration official in the southwestern city of Quetta, Hashim Ghilzai, told AFP.

Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman for the Sandeman Provincial Hospital in Quetta, said the death toll had risen to 30 after two people died of their injuries. Earlier, officials had said 28 people were killed and more than 30 injured.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group through its official Amaq news agency. It was IS’s latest assault on Balochistan, Pakistan’s poorest and most restive province which struggles with multiple Islamist and separatist insurgencies.

The province suffered the brunt of a series of attacks that killed more than 180 people across Pakistan during the brief but acrimonious election campaign, including a blast in Mastung district also claimed by IS which killed 153 people including local politician Siraj Raisani.
He was one of three election candidates killed by militant attacks during the election campaign.

An earlier attack in Balochistan on Wednesday left one policeman dead and three wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a polling station in the village of Koshk, in Khuzdar district.

The military has stationed over 370,000 personnel nationwide to ensure security, bolstered by 450,000 police. (AFP)