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Pakistan's Historic Elections Have Violent Run-Up

Bomb blasts on the eve of Pakistan's landmark election have killed at least five people and wounded 18 others.

One bombing occurred Friday in North Waziristan, a Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold, killing five people and wounding 13 others. The French News agency says the blast happened near political party offices in the region.

Another five people were wounded in a blast outside an office being used by the Pakistan People's Party in the southwestern part of the country.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but the Taliban have carried out numerous attacks to undermine the polls and say they have dispatched suicide bombers for the national election. More than 100 people have been killed and scores wounded since late April.

Pakistan's military says it is deploying thousands of troops to polling stations and counting centers.



The recent bombings of two rallies of a leading Islamic party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, strengthened views the Taliban is opposed to democracy and is targeting anyone taking part in the elections.

On Thursday, the last day of campaigning, militants kidnapped Ali Haider Gilani in Punjab province. The son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is running for a provincial assembly seat in the district

Analysts expect Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to be the likely winner in the historic parliament elections Saturday, marking the first time in the country's history that a civilian government has finished its term and will hand over power to another.

Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan had a dramatic fall at a political rally Tuesday in Lahore. However, he made a televised plea from his hospital bed Thursday for people to vote for his PTI party in the May 11 elections.

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