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PAKISTAN ELECTIONS 2018: BOMB AND SHOOTING ATTACK AS VOTING GETS UNDERWAY

Violence has erupted as millions head to the polls in Pakistan, with the worst incident seeing at least 27 killed by a bomb in the city of Quetta.

Elsewhere, minor blasts and clashes between party workers left several injured and one dead.

Voters are deciding between the parties of the former cricket star Imran Khan and the disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But the campaign has been overshadowed by concerns of fraud and violence.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says there have been “blatant” attempts to manipulate the polls.

Despite tight security across the country, with more than 370,000 troops deployed to secure the ballot, violence has broken through.

Officials say the attack in Quetta, in the restive province of Balochistan, was a suicide bomb targeting police at the gate of a polling station. An attack earlier this month in nearby Mastung killed at least 149 people in one of Pakistan’s deadliest-ever suicide bombings. It was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Pakistan is no stranger to political turmoil and the last few months have proved no exception. Nawaz Sharif, the man who won the last election, is watching this contest from prison. He has been jailed for corruption after a scandal stemming from the Panama Papers leak.

In an interview with BBC Urdu on Monday, the former prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz – who was jailed earlier this month with her father on related charges – criticized the all-powerful military.

“When a prime minister refuses to put down his head and do their [the military’s] bidding, they pull him down with four things; get a religious fatwa issued against him, call him a traitor, call him a friend of India, or call him corrupt. They use these things against every elected prime minister,” she said.

source: BBC

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