QUETTA: Unknown gunmen Friday evening attacked an armed convoy carrying ballot papers in Mastung, killing at least one security personnel as poll related violence continued in Balochistan province.
“They first fired rockets and then used guns and other small weapons. One security personnel member has died and several others are injured,” said local government official Mehrab Shah.
“The exchange of fire is continuing and more troops have been sent to the area,” he added.
Meanwhile, a major bid of terrorism was foiled by the Frontier Corps forces in the volatile province just a day before elections.
A FC spokesman told Dawn.com that the forces recovered an explosive laden vehicle from Saranan refugee camp of district Pishin. He said the forces also sealed a factory making improvised explosive device.
The FC spokesman said forces recovered seven rockets, landmines, RPGs and a huge catch of other weapons as well. Explosive laden vehicle was being brought to Quetta for terrorist activities on the eve of the elections. At least five persons were injured when militants targeted the electoral office of a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate in the Brewery area of Quetta earlier on Friday.
According to the police, militants had planted an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on the roof of the electoral office of Sardar Umar Gorgage, a candidate of former ruling party PPP. The blast damaged the office and injured five PPP workers.
In another incident, militants blew up three polling stations in Balochistan’s troubled district Dera Bugti.
Ayaz Baloch, a levies official, told Dawn.com that militants blew up three proposed polling stations in the Sui town of Dera Bugti. However, no human loss was reported.
Meanwhile, militants fired two rockets on two polling stations in the Panjgoor area of Balochistan.
Barakat Baloch, a levies official, said there was no human loss.
Militants also hurled a petrol bomb at the office of Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M). No human loss was again reported.
In yet another incident in Dera Allahyar town of Balochistan’s Jaffrabad district, a bomb exploded on the house of independent candidate Naeem Khan Khoso contesting from PP-26 leaving five people injured.
Moreover, a wheel jam and shutter down strike was observed in almost all of the Baloch dominated areas of Balochistan.
The Baloch National Front (BNF) had given call for strike on the eve of elections on account of their opposition towards elections in Balochistan.
BNF supporters blocked national highways linking Pakistan with Iran, and Balochistan with neighbouring Sindh and Punjab provinces.
All shops and business centers remained closed on second consecutive day of BNF’s continued strike.
Saturday’s polls are the first time in Pakistan’s turbulent history that an elected civilian administration has handed power to another through the ballot box. The nuclear-armed state has been ruled by the military for half its life.