A day before Pakistan’s election, two bombings near candidate and electoral offices in the province of Balochistan killed two dozen people and injured more than two dozen others, according to a local government minister.
One blast occurred in the city of Pishin, killing 12 individuals and injuring 24, and another in the city of Qilla Saifullhah, killing 10 people as of Wednesday afternoon local time, according to Jan Achakzai, Balochistan province’s Minister for Information and Public Relations.
“Allow me to reiterate our unwavering commitment to relentlessly pursue terrorists until every last one of them is eliminated,” Achakzai said on X (formerly Twitter). He continued that “it is important to emphasize that the scheduled elections will proceed as planned. Rest assured, we will not allow terrorists to undermine or sabotage this crucial democratic process.”
The Associated Press reported that the first attack hit the election office of Asfandyar Khan and the second blast occurred at the office of politician Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema Islam party.
The country of 240 million people will vote in general elections on Feb. 8, where a slew of political parties, including that of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, will vie to run the country.
Aside from Achakzai, other government ministers have also spoken out about the violence.
“Interior Minister Dr. Gohar Ijaz strongly condemned the explosion outside the election office in Pishin,” a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of the Interior read on X. “Interior Minister’s prayers for patience and patience for the martyrs and their families.”
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar also “strongly condemned” the blasts in a statement on X and requested a report of incidents from Balochistan’s Chief Secretary.