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Pakistan: 30 people killed in twin bombings on election offices in Balochistan, 7 Feb 2024

In a continuation of the surge in violence Pakistan has experienced in the build-up to elections on February 8th, two IED attacks on political offices killed up to 30 people, and injured at least 40 more on February 7th.

One of the attacks took place in Pishin, when an explosive device planted on a motorbike exploded outside an independent candidate’s election office. 18 people were killed and around 20 injured. The regional affiliate of Islamic State, ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for this attack. 

Later on, another device exploded outside the Jamiat Ulema Islam party office in Qilla Saifullah, killing 12 and injuring around 20. No group has claimed responsibility for this attack. 

AOAV has recorded 22 incidents of election-related violence in Pakistan, since January 29th, and these have caused at least 115 civilian casualties, including 37 civilian deaths. At least six children are among the civilians harmed. Nine security personnel were also killed and 19 injured in the attacks. 

Balochistan was the most affected province, having witnessed 15 attacks and 103 civilian casualties since then, including 35 civilian deaths. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh provinces have also been affected.

Four car bombs, predominantly IEDs planted on motorbikes, caused 80 civilian casualties (34 killed), while 13 grenade attacks killed and injured 27 civilians (2 deaths). The remaining incidents were reported as a landmine, roadside bombs, non-specific IEDs, and a rocket attack.

Overall, AOAV has recorded 38 incidents of explosive violence in Pakistan in 2024 so far, 25 of which have caused 138 civilian casualties (37 killed). Pakistan was one of the 10 worst affected countries for civilian casualties of explosive violence last year, with AOAV recording 870 civilians harmed across 218 incidents, including 249 civilian deaths. At least 50 children are among the civilians harmed by explosive weapons in Pakistan in 2023. This makes 2023 the most injurious year for civilians in Pakistan since 2018, as recorded by AOAV.

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.