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Pak deploys 6 lakh security men for polls

A spokesman for Pakistan’s top election body says authorities plan to deploy the security personnel to prevent possible Taliban attacks.


On guard: Pak army soldiers patrol with an armoured personnel carrier on a street on the outskirts of Peshawar yesterday. Pic/AFP

Spokesman Khursheed Alam said that the figure includes police, paramilitary forces and 50,000 soldiers. He also said that the Election Commission of Pakistan would have about 5-10 security personnel at each polling station. Alam said the Commission is setting up about 73,000 polling stations in Pakistan to ensure a free and fair vote.

The election is historic, as it will mark the first transfer of power between democratically elected governments in this Islamic nation that has experienced three military coups since 1947.

Bloodiest campaign
Campaigning for today’s general election came to an end on midnight of Thursday and Friday, with candidates holding final rallies. The three week campaign, however, has been marred by violence in which more than 100 people, including candidates, have been killed.

Yesterday, violence continued unabated with 15 people reported killed in the country’s restive northwest region.

Three persons were killed and 12 others injured when a blast ripped through the market of Miranshah.

In Kurram tribal region, three security personnel were killed when militants attacked a check post. Nine militants were killed in retaliatory action by the security forces.

In Quetta five persons were injured when a grenade was lobbed at an election office of a PPP leader. An election office of the Awami National Party in Peshawar was also targeted by a blast early yesterday. One person was injured in the attack.

Blasts targeted two schools to be used as polling stations at Panjgur in Balochistan. An explosion also occurred near the house of a BNP-A candidate in Panjgur, though no one was hurt in these attacks. 

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