KARACHI/QUETTA/PESHAWAR, May 11: Attacks, bomb explosions and violent clashes marked the polling day across the country on Saturday, killing at least 38 people and injuring over 150 others.

The day started in Karachi with a powerful bomb blast apparently targeting an Awami National Party (ANP) candidate in the densely populated Landhi area.

Two Rangers personnel were killed and six others injured in a suicide attack in Manghopir.

Eleven people, a little boy among them, were killed and 45 others, including 11 children, were injured in the Landhi blast, according to hospital and police sources.

“Ostensibly, terrorists tried to target the ANP candidate for PS 128, Amanullah Mehsud, who was visiting polling camps, but he remained unhurt,” said Mazhar Nawaz Sheikh, Senior Superintendent of Police, Malir.

Mr Mehsud’s gunmen and activists surrounding him were among the dead and the injured.

“We received 11 bodies, including a three-year-old boy, and 45 injured, 11 children among them,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, head of the emergency ward of Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre. She said the condition of seven injured, including three children, was critical.

The SSP said the bomb weighing about 6kg was attached to the gas cylinder of a rickshaw. It was detonated by remote control.

“It was an improvised explosive device which also contained ball bearings,” a bomb disposal squad official said.

The two Rangers personnel were killed and six others injured when a bomber rammed his explosives-laden motorcycle into their checkpoint at the New Nazimabad project in Manghopir, according to police.

Superintendent of Police Captain Chaudhry Asad said the head of the bomber had been in the scene. According to him, the bomber was accompanied by a terrorist on another bike. When Rangers and police started pursuing him, other terrorists took position behind a hill and opened fire on the security personnel.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed, the police officer claimed.

A bomb explosion in a coach killed one person and injured four others in Orangi Town, according to police. The bomb was planted on the backseat of the coach.

Terrorists threw a grenade outside a polling station in Saeedabad area, injuring one man.

A cracker was hurled at the office of a Jamaat-i-Islami leader in the Frontier Colony. Two people were injured.

A religious party’s candidate for NA 253 was feared to have been kidnapped in Shah Faisal Colony. The Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen’s candidate, along with his guard and coordinator, was kidnapped on his way polling camps in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, the party’s spokesman Asghar Taqvi said.

He said the party’s two candidates -- Maulana Mohammad Hussain Karimi (NA 250) and Shakir Ali Rajani (PS 117) -- were beaten at a polling station in Soldier Bazaar.

A violent clash between the workers of two rival parties in New Karachi Industrial Area left one passer-by dead. A police officer said the young man was passing through the area in Khamiso Goth when he was hit by bullets and killed on the spot.

BALOCHISTAN: At least 13 people were killed and 37 injured in election-related violence and bomb attacks in different areas of Balochistan.

In Nasirabad district, at least four supporters of an independent candidate were killed and 12 others injured in a landmine explosion and firing in Chattar area on Saturday night.

Reports suggest that at least 14 people were killed, but the district police officer confirmed four deaths.

“Four people were killed,” Nasirabad DPO Tahir Kasi told Dawn, adding that the bodies could not be shifted to Dera Murad Jamali.

According to sources, supporters of Khadim Hussian Shah, an independent candidate for PB 28 Nasirabad, were coming back to Dera Murad Jamali in a bus. When the bus reached Tenwah village, a powerful explosion took place near it and after that terrorists started firing.

“The bus hit the landmine planted to target supporters of the candidate,” the sources said.

Police denied the killing of 14 people and said only four died as a result of the firing and the blast. “Khadim Shah was not with his supporters at the time of the attack,” they said.

Over a dozen blasts and rocket attacks were reported in Turbat, Panjgur, Kalat, Mastung, Kuchlak and Quetta earlier in the day.

An armed clash took place between workers of an independent candidate, retired Captain Abdul Khaliq Achakzai, and an ANP candidate in Faigo village of Chaman.

According to police, a brother of Captain Khaliq exchanged hot wards with ANP workers and opened fire. Two ANP workers were killed. Supporters of the ANP candidate rushed to the site and started firing, resulting in the killing of three people on the spot. Five people suffered injuries.

Another armed clash took place between supporters of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) and JUI-F in a village near Gulistan Town. According to Levies, supporters of the two parties opened fire at each other. One JUI-F worker was killed and four others were injured.

In Toba Achakzai area of Qila Abdullah district, two workers of the JUI-F were injured in a clash with PKMAP supporters.

In Kalat district, two people were killed and four others injured, including tow security personnel, when armed men opened fire near a polling station in Sard Jungle area.

Six ANP workers were injured when terrorists threw a grenade at a polling station in Kuchlak area, some 30km from Quetta. Abdul Sattar Kakar, an ANP candidate, escaped unhurt.

Four children were injured when a grenade exploded near a polling station in Killi Shabo, a locality in the outskirts of Quetta.

A bomb exploded near a polling station in Mastung, but no loss of life was reported.

At least 10 explosions and rocket attacks took place in Turbat, Panjgur, Kalat, Kharan and Awaran areas. However, there was no loss of life.

KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA: At least two people were killed and 51 others injured in incidents of bomb blasts, firing and scuffle at different polling stations across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In Peshawar, three bomb blasts outside poling stations in Khazana and Badbher areas killed a boy and injured 21 people, including five policemen.

In Karak district, a cousin of former provincial minister and independent candidate for PK-40 Karak-I, Mian Nisar Gul Kakakhel, was killed and two other relatives were injured when they clashed with supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate Gul Sahib Khan Khattak.

According to witnesses, the supporters of Mian Nisar and Gul Sahib exchanged harsh words over mismanagement at a women polling station in Sabirabad and opened fire at each other.

Scuffles between supporters of different candidates in Kohati, Naudhia, Wazir Bagh, Beri Bagh, Warsak Road, Mathra and Zahidabad areas led to suspension of the polling process for some time and police had to intervene. Incidents of aerial firing were reported from these places.

Four people were injured in Mansehra when supporters of PML-N candidate Sardar Yousuf and PTI candidate Azam Khan Swati clashed at polling stations in Tumbah, Banda Gisuch, Jabbori and Munda Gusha areas.

In Lakki Marwat, six people, four children among them, were injured in shootouts outside Baistkhel and Naserkhel polling stations.

In Mardan, five people were injured in a bomb blast and firing by supporters of different candidates.

In Charsadda, six people were injured during scuffles between workers of candidates at polling stations.

According to witnesses, supporters of the Qaumi Watan Party and the PPP exchanged fire at a polling station in the Umerzai area. Four supporters of the PPP and two of the QWP were injured.

Activists of the PPP and PML-N clashed and exchanged fire at each other at a polling station in Tormang Dara of Upper Dir. Three workers -- one from the PPP and two from the PML-N -- were injured.

PUNJAB: An activist of the PTI was killed and four others were injured during a clash with supporters of the PML-N in Rawalpindi’s Shamasabad area. The PTI workers were celebrating the victory of their party.

Two workers -- one belonging to the PTI and the other to PML-N -- were killed and several others injured during an armed clash between the two parties in Doltala village of Gujar Khan.

The clash took place when supporters of the two parties were celebrating victories of their parties.

Two people were killed and several others injured in clashes during vote count in Toba Tek Singh.

Imtiaz Ali, Saleem Shahid, Ali Hazrat Bacha and Mohammad Asghar contributed to this story



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