July 25 (UPI) -- Dozens of people were killed in Pakistan Wednesday when a bomb went off near a Quetta polling station, as the country held national elections.
The blast, targeting a police convoy, killed two police officers and injured 40 people just hours after polls opened for parliamentary elections.
Authorities reported at least 29 dead.
More than 30 political parties and 12,570 candidates are competing for the support of 106 million registered voters, who will elect the national and four provincial assemblies Wednesday.
"Very sad to hear about the blast at Quetta. Salute those who gave their lives for a democratic Pakistan," Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal tweeted. "Enemies of Pakistan can't break our resolve. Every attack strengthens our will to fight them."
At least 70 people died in two attacks on crowds attending political rallies on July 13, as a suicide bomber attacked a rally of the separatist Balochistan Awami Party in Dringahr. Candidate Siraj Raisini died and 120 people were injured.
Another explosion in the northwestern town of Bannu at a political rally of the JUI-F party, a Sunni Muslim religious party, killed four.