Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an explosion near a polling station in Quetta, Pakistan, on Wednesday, according to the group’s AMAQ news agency. Over 30 were killed and 35 injured in the blast in the western city of Quetta, which happened as millions of Pakistanis head to vote in a knife-edge national election.
Authorities have ordered the deployment of more than 800,000 troops and police to guard polling stations across the country. Militant Islamic State and Taliban militants have threatened to target the voting, saying they considered democracy as a system followed by “Western infidels.”
No fewer than 11,000 candidates are running in the national legislature and its provincial counterparts, but opinion polls suggest the election battle will be between the parties of ex-cricket star Imran Khan and the disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.