Islamabad, Feb 9: At least 12 people, including 10 security personnel, were killed on Thursday in “terrorist attacks” in southwestern and northwestern Pakistan as people flocked to polling stations to elect a new parliament and four provincial assemblies, the army said.
“Despite 51 cowardly terrorist attacks, mostly in KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Balochistan (provinces), aimed at disrupting the electoral process, the soldiers remained resolute and effectively ensured peace and security across Pakistan,” an army statement said.
It said that 39 people were also injured in the attacks.
“Through proactive intelligence manoeuvres and swift action, many potential threats were neutralized, underscoring the unwavering commitment of our security agencies to protect the democratic rights of our citizens,” the statement said, adding that five “terrorists” were also killed in various operations.
Earlier, a security personnel was killed in the Kot Azam area of the Tank district in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when unknown gunmen opened fire on a security team guarding polling staff.
In another incident, at least four policemen were killed and several others injured in the same province when a police van was hit by an improvised explosive device.
“Militants targeted a police van and later also opened fire on their vehicle in the Kulachi area of the Dera Ismail Khan district during police patrols,” a local official told Anadolu on the phone on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
In one more attack, at least two security personnel were killed and nine were injured in a landmine blast in the southwestern Balochistan province.
The incident took place in the Kharaan district, the latest in an ongoing spate of militant attacks amid voting in Thursday’s general elections.
Extending greetings to people on “generally peaceful and violence free conduct” of polls, the military said: “The armed forces remain dedicated to upholding peace and security in the country and stand ready to provide unwavering support in safeguarding the democratic traditions of our state.”–(CNI)