11 killed, many hurt in Pakistan local body polls; army called in

At least 11 people were killed and several injured in clashes between rival groups on Saturday during local body elections in Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces, following which army had to be called in to douse the tension.

Islamabad: At least 11 people were killed and several injured in clashes between rival groups on Saturday during local body elections in Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces, following which army had to be called in to douse the tension.

Clashes occurred in various parts of the two provinces where polling was held in 20 districts in the first stage of the three-phase polls.

"Eleven people were killed in clashes between the groups," said senior police officer Peer Muhammad Shah.

More than a dozen people were injured in the clashes due to which polling was interrupted at some places.

Shah said the situation was tense and army was called in to avoid further violence. Pakistan Army personnel were also deployed at polling booths marked sensitive.

Despite the violence, polling continued and was completed in majority of places by 5.30 pm local time.

Pakistan's ruling Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the main Opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) were leading the polls in Punjab and Sindh provinces respectively, reports said.

According to unofficial results, PML-N, which rules at the centre and Punjab, was leading in Punjab, where 2696 seats were up for grab, Geo TV reported.

Counting was completed in 289 seats so far and PML-N won 133, closely followed by independent candidates who won 105.

PML-N's main challenger Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf could only managed 23 seats.

In Sindh, where PPP controls the provincial government, where 1072 seats were open for contest and unofficial results were declared for 225 seat, out of which PPP won 166.

It was followed by independent candidates who won 35 seats.

An official of the election commission said that a complete unofficial result will be available by tomorrow.

Polling in the first stage of the three-phase polls were held in 12 districts of Punjab and eight districts of Sindh.

The polling began at 7.30am and continued till 5.30pm. The timings were, however, extended at certain places.

A total of 55,190 candidates -- 45,103 in Punjab and 10,087 in Sindh -- were in the fray.

The 12 districts in Punjab where polls were held include: Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Chakwal, Bhakkar, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Pakpattan, Okara, Lodhran, Vehari and Bahawalpur.

Sindh's eight districts included: Shikarpur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Qambar, Sukkur, Khairpur and Ghotki.

Local media reports said that dozens of candidates were elected unopposed both in Punjab and Sindh provinces. 

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