At least nine people killed and dozens injured in northwest Pakistan, in further election violence.
Pakistani police say two bomb blasts have killed nine supporters of two Pakistani politicians at their campaign offices in the country’s northwest, the latest violence ahead of polls next month.
The first attack came after a device exploded outside the office of an independent candidate in the garrison city of Kohat, which is adjacent to Pakistan’s restive tribal areas along the Afghan border at around 05:30GMT on Sunday, Al Jazeera learned.
“The IED was planted outside the election office. At least [six] people have been killed and 22 injured,” Dilawar Khan Bangash. city police chief, said.
Ten kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack, he said.
Fazal Naeem, a police spokesperson in Kohat, said blast there had damaged shops and vehicles near the office of Noor Akbar Khan and also hit an office of the Awami National Party, which has been threatened by the Taliban.
“The election office was open at the time and supporters of Noor Akbar Khan were sitting inside. The death toll may rise, the condition of some of the injured is critical,” Tanveer Khan, another police official said.
Police officer Saifur Rehman says the second bomb killed three at the office of another independent candidate, Nasir Khan Afridi, also running for a national assembly seat, in the suburbs of Peshawar.
“Interestingly, both the attacks were against independent candidates,” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder reported from Islamabad.
The bombings appear to be a deliberate attempt by the Taliban to create a climate of insecurity ahead of the elections, he said.
“The Taliban, it seems, are hell-bent on attacking targets across the country,” he said.