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ISIS claims responsibility for Pakistani polling station blast

ISIS claims responsibility for Pakistani polling station blast

A series of suicide bombings outside polling stations across the country killed dozens of people, and there are fears of more violence once the results are in.

"It has pushed Pakistan back 30 years".

Pakistanis were voting Wednesday in a historic third straight election ending a campaign marred by widespread allegations of manipulation that local and worldwide rights group have said imperil the country's wobbly transition to democratic rule.

Amid all the chaos around the election, an exit poll suggested that both the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) helmed by Imran Khan and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) running under form Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif were involved in a neck-and-neck fight.

Results for the 11th general elections are expected to trickle in immediately after the polling ends with the final outcome likely by Thursday morning or afternoon, according to election officials.

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.

Another person was killed in firing outside a Mirpurkhas polling station in NA-219 Dighri area, the report said.

Earlier election violence saw a suicide bomber in Balochistan kill 150 people - including one of Mr Khan's party candidates Ikramullah Gandapur. Another 400 were wounded.

Incidents of firing and grenade attacks on polling stations were also reported from the Khuzdar district in Balochistan, Larkana in Sindh province and elsewhere.

Independent media, meanwhile, say there have been blatant attempts to muzzle them, while the human rights commission has said there are "ample grounds" to question the legitimacy of the polls.

But any delay to the formation of a government is likely to be a concern for Pakistanis waking up to an unclear result, considering Pakistan's turbulent political history and a brewing economic crisis.

ISIS claims responsibility for Pakistani polling station blast
Pakistan bomb attack in Quetta kills 18 as country holds general election | Daily Star

The State Department spokesperson noted that Pakistan's Election Commission rejected registration of the Milli Muslim League (MML) in June, citing its linkages to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an internationally-sanctioned terrorist organisation.

He said that in case any proof is brought forward, action would be taken against all individuals found involved. Islamabad. After voting, he appealed on Pakistanis to come out and vote in huge numbers "to save future generations".

The PPP, which has been overtaken by Khan's PTI as the main challenger to PML-N, has also alleged intimidation by spy agencies. Images showed a smiling Khan with his ballot paper laid out in front of him as he marked the ballot. "Prime Minister Imran Khan".

"We will not allow anyone to steal the mandate the nation has given to us", she told a news conference. Nevertheless, the party is a strong contender in the elections and has an even stronger candidate in Shahbaz Sharif to cause an upset.

Polling began all over Pakistan at 8am and ended at 6pm.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also tweeted last night, saying he had not received official results from any constituency he was contesting, despite it being past midnight.

In the ongoing elections, as many as 105.96 million people, including 47 million female voters, will be able to use their right to vote, with over 1,2000 candidates vying for 270 national and 570 provincial assembly seats.

"[The bomber] was trying to enter the polling station".

A Reuters witness said the attack occurred near a voting centre in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

In an effort to increase voter participation, the Election Commission has declared a public holiday on Wednesday. Some candidates were elected without a single woman marking a ballot.

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