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Pakistani Politician, Polling Stations Attacked In Southwest Province

Balochistan Province has been the scene of extensive pre-election violence. Here, police and security officials collect evidence at the site of a bomb blast in Dera Allah Yar, in the Jaffarabad district of Balochistan, on March 22.
A Pakistani politician has escaped assassination the same day that unidentified assailants attacked four polling sites in the restive southwestern province of Balochistan.

Officials say senior regional politician Abdul Malik Baloch was unhurt after a grenade attack on May 6 in the remote Turbat district.

Elsewhere in the province, attacks targeted three schools and a health clinic in the Barkhan and Mastung districts.

Officials say the buildings were blown up in apparent bids to prevent them being used as polling stations.

The Balochistan violence is seen as part of a campaign by separatist Baluch nationalist factions who had warned politicians against participation in the elections and had vowed to disrupt the process.

Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but sparsely populated province, has been plagued by separatist and sectarian violence for years.

Based on reporting by BBC Urdu and Geo TV