31 martyred, dozens injured in blast outside Quetta polling station

31 martyred, dozens injured in blast outside Quetta polling station

Quetta (Staff Report): At least 31 people were martyred and more than 30 others injured in a suspected suicide attack outside a polling station near Eastern Bypass in Quetta on Wednesday.

Rescue officials said the explosion occurred near a police vehicle on routine patrolling.

The injured have been shifted to Sandeman Provincial Hospital. A state of emergency has been declared at the hospital.

Law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area and launched search operation.

According to a foreign news agency, the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in the western city of Quetta, where security sources said the bomber drove his motorcycle into a police vehicle.

Earlier, voting for General Elections 2018 has been started across the country amid tight security.

The polling started at 8am and will end at 6pm.

Over 12,570 candidates are in the run for seats of National and four provincial assemblies.

Against the National Assembly's seats, about 3,675 candidates are in the electoral race whereas about 8,895 for the provincial legislatures of all four provinces.

According to the data shared by the ECP, 1,696 candidates are vying for the National Assembly's constituencies from Punjab and 4,242 for the provincial legislature.

From Sindh, 872 are contesting for the National Assembly seats and 2,382 for the provincial assembly.

Total contesting candidates for the National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are 760 and 1,264 for the provincial assembly.

For Balochistan’s National Assembly seats, there are a total of 303 candidates and 1,007 for its provincial assembly seats.

In Islamabad, 76 candidates are in the race for three seats of National Assembly.

According to the electoral rolls, 105.96 million voters are eligible to cast the vote.

In all, 85,307 polling stations have been set up across the country.

A public holiday has been announced on the polling day, while the ministry of water and power has also been directed by the election commission not to carry out loadshedding on the polling day.

According to an ECP official, 5,878 of the polling stations declared as highly sensitive were from Sindh province, 5,487 from Punjab and Islamabad, 3,874 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, and 1,768 from Balochistan.

The official said a total of 85,307 polling stations have been set up in all the four provinces, FATA and the federal capital. 47,813 of the polling stations are in Punjab, 17,747 in Sindh, 12,634 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,420 in Balochistan, 797 in the federal capital and 1,896 in FATA.

The ECP has already issued its final polling scheme for national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies for conducting the general election in all the provinces and the federal capital.

On Monday, the election campaign by political parties for general elections 2018 ended across the country at midnight. The campaign ended in accordance with section 182 of the Election Act of 2017.

Under Section 182 of the Elections Act 2017 no person would convene hold or attend any public meeting and promote or join any procession within the area of the constituency during a period of 48 hours ending at midnight following the conclusion of poll.

A monitoring and control room headed by Director General Administration has also been established in ECP to address the complaints.