Islamabad, Feb 8 (PTI) At least 12 people, including 10 security personnel, were killed on Thursday, mostly in restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, as the government forces repulsed 51 terrorist attacks aimed at disrupting the polling for general elections in the country.
Five terrorists were also killed during various operations, according to a statement by the army.
Militants tried to derail the process with the attack mostly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan but the forces foiled their attempts, though at a price, it said.
“Despite 51 cowardly terrorist attacks, mostly in KP and Balochistan, aimed at disrupting the electoral process, the soldiers remained resolute and effectively ensured peace and security across Pakistan. Twelve people (including 10 personnel of security forces and law enforcement agencies) died and 39 others have been injured in these attacks,” the army statement said.
It further stated that through proactive intelligence manoeuvres and swift action, many potential threats were neutralised, underscoring the unwavering commitment of the security agencies to protect the democratic rights of our citizens.
It also said that five terrorists were also killed during various operations by the security forces.
“With the deployment of 1,37,000 army personnel and civil armed forces at approximately 6,000 selected most sensitive polling stations and over 7,800 QRFs (Quick Response Force), a safe and secure environment for the public was ensured,” the army said.
In one of the incidents, unidentified gunmen set off a bomb and then opened fire at a vehicle of security personnel deployed for election security in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan. Four police officials were killed in the attack, they said.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack but the area is a former stronghold of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The group carried out multiple attacks targeting security forces in recent years.
In a separate incident, two Levies and police personnel were killed while seven security personnel were injured in Balochistan’s Kharan when their vehicle hit a landmine en route to a polling station.
These attacks happened a day after at least 30 people were killed in twin terror attacks in the Balochistan province.
Meanwhile, after claiming that it thwarted more than 50 attacks, the Army added that the armed forces alongside other Law Enforcement Agencies were proud to have played a pivotal role in providing security during the conduct of the sacred electoral process, in aid of civil power, and in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan.
“It is our fervent hope that our sacrifices would not be in vain and this election will serve as a catalyst for further strengthening democracy in Pakistan and that it will pave the way for the realisation of the aspirations of the people of Pakistan,” the army said. PTI SH ZH NPK AKJ NPK NPK