At least 30 people were killed and another 40 injured in two different explosions in Balochistan province on Wednesday, a day before Pakistan’s general elections.
The blasts took place in the Killa Saifullah district outside an election office belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and in the Pishin district near the office of an independent candidate.
The explosion hit 170 kilometers away from Quetta, where JUI candidates Maulana Samiul Haq and Maulana Abdul Wasay are contesting elections.
According to police, a large number of workers were in the office at the time of the explosion.
Shortly before, a separate explosion near the office of Asfand Yar Kakar, an independent candidate in the Pishin district, killed 18 people and injured 23, according to Deputy Commissioner Pishin Jumma Dad Mandokhail.
Those injured in the Pishin blast have been taken to hospital, Medical Superintendent Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Dr. Habib Ur Rehman said.
Initial reports suggested the explosives were planted on a motorcycle.
The blasts come amid rising tensions in Pakistan ahead of Thursday’s election. Violence has escalated across the country as candidates have been shot and killed while campaigning.
On Tuesday, Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said there had been at least 24 reported instances of staged attacks by armed groups against members of political parties.
The Islamic State Pakistan Province (ISPP) claimed responsibility for the blasts in Balochistan, releasing a statement on the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq that said it had killed and wounded “about 35 apostates.”
The Balochistan provincial government has announced three days of mourning.
This is a developing story and will be updated