Low voter-turnout in Pakistan amidst sporadic violence

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Lahore, Feb 18 : A low voter turnout was witnessed in the initial hours of the general elections in Pakistan today.

Voting will continue till 5 p.m.

Monday's elections were overshadowed by violence and fears of rigging.

Incidents of violence were reported from Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Qasur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Kamonki, Sheikhupura, Dera Ghazi Khan, Narang Mandi, Gujranwala, Bhakkar, Vehari, Sahiwal and other cities.

At least three people were killed and over 40 others were injured in fresh wave of violence across Punjab.

Electoral process was suspended for hours in many polling stations. Police and Rangers also apprehended many miscreants.

Thirty women were held with fake national identity cards in Sargodha polling station. One man was killed and four others were injured in clashes between two rival political sections in Shakargarh village.

The Rangers stopped 14-armed men from forcefully trying to cast their vote in the Narang Mandi constituency.

An exchange of fire took place outside the Qadirabad polling station between Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) workers which left at least five people injured.

PPP and PML-Q supporters also clashed at the polling station in Badin which resorted to firing, leaving ten persons wounded. A political worker, Lala Fayyaz was killed in the exchange of fire in Sialkot.

Four people were also injured in Kamonki. Six others were injured in Sheikhupura district.

In Qasur, the Rangers were called in after two rival political groups exchanged fire. Three gunmen of contesting candidate were arrested on charges of firing outside Jalal pur Bhattian polling station within the limits of Hafizabad.

Police and Rangers recovered ammunition from a vehicle in the Lala Mosa area.

In another incident, a man snatched 67 ballot papers from women at a polling station in a Rawalpindi constituency, and managed to flee from the scene.

ANI

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