Hand grenade attack target polling station in Barkhan

Hand grenade attack

QUETTA: A blast rocked the Government High School in Barkhan district of Balochistan on Thursday, where a polling station has been set up for the upcoming elections.

According to Levies, an unidentified motorcyclist hurled a hand grenade at the school premises and fled the scene.

Luckily, no one was injured in the attack. Levies personnel cordoned off the area and launched an investigation into the incident.

Barkhan is the eighth-smallest district of Balochistan, with an area of 3,410 square kilometers. It is located in the northeast of the province, bordering Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The attack is the latest in a series of violent incidents that have plagued Balochistan in the run-up to the polls scheduled for February 8.

The province has been witnessing a long-running insurgency by separatist groups, who demand greater autonomy and a larger share of the natural resources.

On Monday night, security forces foiled three coordinated attacks by militants, including suicide bombers, in Mach and Kolpur areas, about 70 kilometers from Quetta.

The attacks targeted a high-security prison, a police station and a check post. Four law enforcement personnel and two civilians were martyred, while nine terrorists were killed in the ensuing operation, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the most prominent of the separatist groups, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The BLA opposes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure project that passes through the province. The BLA has carried out several attacks on Chinese nationals and interests in the past.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) held a meeting today to review the security situation in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where several candidates and workers of different political parties have also been targeted by terrorists.

The ECP has sought the assistance of the army and other law enforcement agencies to ensure a peaceful and transparent electoral process.

The ECP said that the general election will be held on 8 at all costs.

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