Pakistan election live updates: Death toll rises to 29 in Quetta blast, 40 injured
Islamabad : Close to 29 people have been killed, including two policemen, in a bomb blast near a polling station in the Pakistani city of Quetta. Besides death, 40 others were reportedly wounded in the blast today on July 25, Waseem Baig, a spokesperson for Quetta Civil Hospital, told Al Jazeera.
The blast took place just hours after polls started in Pakistan for the country's parliamentary elections. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq website.
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said officials declared it was carried out by a suicide bomber operating a motorcycle.
"The death toll is likely to go up ... [but] a number of the victims include would be voters," he said.
The atmosphere is tensed out there, Hyder added, but it is likely that voter turnout would be high with "people coming out in large numbers" throughout the capital.
The death toll this week raises to 203 people killed with a series of suicide attacks targeting election rallies throughout the country.
To recall, 154 people were killed on July 13 as a result of a political rally in the southwestern city of Mastung.
On security ground, at least 800,000 police and military forces have been deployed to some 85,000 polling stations throughout the country in order to ensure the vote proceeds peacefully.
More than 30 political parties and 12,570 candidates are challenging for the support of some 106 million registered voters, who will elect both the national and four provincial assemblies.