Suicide bomber kills 28 near voting booth in Quetta, Pakistan

Members of the bomb disposal unit survey the site after a suicide blast, in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

A suicide bomber has taken 28 lives and injured 35 more near a voting centre in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province in Pakistan. The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber drove his motorcycle on to a police vehicle.

Pakistan general elections are ongoing in what is being seen as a ‘cliffhanger’ as neither cricket hero Imran Khan contests against the party of jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are likely to win a clear majority.

Khan has emerged as a slight favourite in national opinion polls, but the divisive race is likely to come down to Punjab, the country’s most populous province, where Sharif’s party has clung to its lead in recent surveys.

The election has been plagued by allegations the powerful armed forces have been trying to tilt the race in Khan’s favour after falling out with the outgoing ruling party of Sharif, who was jailed on corruption charges this month.

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber killed 149 people at an election rally in the town of Mastung in Baluchistan province. That attack was also claimed by Islamic State militants.

Voting will conclude at 6 p.m. Pakistan Standard Time.

With inputs from Reuters

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