Violence mars Pakistan polls, five cops killed

IANS Photo

Islamabad, February 8 (IANS) At least five policemen were killed and six others injured in militant attacks in Pakistan, where polling for general elections is underway on Thursday.

At least four police officials were killed and six others injured in a bomb attack on a police vehicle in Graha Aslam polling station in Dera Ismail Khan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, The Express Tribune reported.

A security officer was killed when gunmen opened fire at a security forces vehicle in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province's Tank district , Khyber news reported.

In NA-49 Attock, PML-N and PTI workers entered into a scuffle leading to a temporary suspension of polling at two booths.

The scuffle erupted due to halt in the polling process at Government Boys High School Bhangi Hazro. The polling resumed after a delay of approximately five hours.

National Democratic Movement (NDM) chairman Mohsin Dawar said: "Taliban have taken over the polling stations in NA-40, Tappi."

In a post on X, he said: "I have written to the CEC urging @ECP_Pakistan to take notice of the security situation in Tappi, N. Waziristan in NA-40 where Taliban have taken over polling stations. We have also filed an application with the police against an attack there on 3 of our female polling agents. the Taliban have 'taken over the polling stations' in NA-40, Tappi."

PTI leader Hammad Azhar claimed that half of polling time has elapsed and voting is yet to begin at NA 129 Lahore.

"The presiding officer says he cannot contact anyone at RO office or ECP because mobile services are down," Azhar said.

Internet has also been suspended across the country in what the government has described as a "security measure".

The government's move was decried by various political parties.

A total of 128 million people -- 69 million women and 59 million men -- are eligible to vote in the general elections.

As many as 5,121 canddiadtes are in the fray for the National Assembly while for the four provincial assemblies, 12,695 candidates are in the field.

On the poll eve, twin terrorist attacks rocked Pishin and Qilla Saifullah in Balochistan province, leaving scores of people dead and injuring dozens.