Peshawar/Kohat/Swabi  -  Ten people were killed and over 45 others injured in three bomb blasts targeting election offices of different candidates and an ANP public meeting in Kohat, Peshawar and Swabi on Sunday.

A joint election office of independent candidate Syed Noor Akbar and ANP's Khurshed Begum was blown up on Sunday in Kohat district, killing six people and wounding 22 others. The second explosion came in a Peshawar office of a candidate running for NA-46 Bara, Khyber Agency. Three people were killed while four of the 13 injured were told to be critical.

A teenager was killed and 13 people injured in Swabi when militants exploded a bomb and carried out firing at ANP ex-MPA Ameer Rehman and his associates who were returning from a public meeting. A fourth attack was carried out at the election office of an independent candidate in tehsil Takhatbhai of Mardan which caused no loss of life.

Violence has marred the campaign for the landmark May 11 general elections, with more than 50 people dead in blasts and suicide attacks since April 11, including more than 20 in the past three days. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for Sunday's blasts, as well as attacks in Karachi in recent days, in an email sent to news agencies.

About the Kohat blast, the police said that a 10 Kg bomb was planted outside the election office, which was destroyed. Soon after the blast the officials of the law enforcing agencies and police cordoned off the area and started the relief operation and shifted the injured to Kohat District Headquarter Hospital.

ANP's Khurshed Begum is running for NA-14 (Peshawar), while Noor Akbar is contesting as an independent candidate from NA-39 Orakzai Agency. Noor Akbar’s supporters were sitting in the office when it was hit but none of the leaders was hurt. Noor is canvassing for votes among the numerous Orakzai residents who fled their home because of military operation there and are presently residing in Kohat district.

Police and BDS sources said that the Peshawar blast came of a 3kg bicycle bomb that exploded outside the office of ex-senator Haji Nasir Afridi, damaging the office and two vehicles, and shattering windowpanes of nearby houses and shops. Soon after the blast, police and law enforcing agencies personnel cordoned off the area and started operation to trace the miscreants.

In Swabi, militants targeted ANP leaders returning from a public meeting with a bomb and firing, killing a youth and wounding 13 others. A remote controlled bomb affixed with a motorcycle exploded when the convoy of former ANP MPA Ameer Rehman was on its way back from a public meeting in Rafiq Abad at the Hujra of Dost Muhammad.

Eyewitnesses said the police van escorting the politician also came under fire and the people were actually injured by that firing. However, Ameer, who is the ANP candidate from PK-32 (Swabi-II), and his companions remained unhurt in the incident. The injured were taken to nearby private Seena Hospital, Shahmansoor Hospital Complex. Doctors at the Seena Hospital said five of the injured were serious. Four of the injured were referred to District Headquarter Hospital, Mardan. The killed teenager was identified as Zain Muhammad of Aziz Dheri area. Seven of the injured were: Muhammad Ramazan, Asghar Muhammad, Muhammad Amin, Bakhat Sher, Ibad Khan, Tila Muhammad and Anees Khan. The names of the remaining injured were not confirmed.

Fear of attacks has meant there have been few large-scale political rallies so far, leading to a lacklustre election campaign. The TTP said it was attacking political parties because of their "secular doctrine" and because they were behind military operations in the tribal regions.

On Saturday three blasts in Karachi left at least three people dead and 49 wounded, while on Friday a car bomb at an ANP meeting killed 10.

APP adds: A boy was killed and five others injured in a bomb blast here in Faizabad area in jurisdiction of Saryab Road on Sunday evening. Police said the explosive planted in a bicycle went off as corner meeting of Shams Mengal, an independent candidate from PB-5, Quetta-5, was taking place in a house at the explosion site. As a result, a child was instantly killed and five others sustained injuries.

Identity of deceased child and injured could not be ascertained immediately. Police and FC teams reached the site soon after the incident and shifted the injured to a nearby hospital.

The frequent attacks on election offices and gatherings have considerably faded the election-related activities in the city.