KARACHI, PAKISTAN (MAY 11, 2013) (REUTERS) - As polls opened across Pakistan on Saturday (May 11), a blast hit the offices of a political party in Karachi killing at least 11 people and wounding another 35.
The bomb attack hit the office of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Pakistan's commercial capital, leaving buildings and nearby shop-fronts destroyed.
At least two were also wounded in a pair of blasts that followed and media reported gunfire in the city.
A string of militant attacks cast a long shadow over Pakistan's general election, but millions still turned out to vote in a landmark test of the troubled country's democracy.
An explosion destroyed an ANP office in the northwest. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Television channels also reported an explosion in the city ofPeshawar.
Witness, Mohammad Yousuf, said he saw bodies lying on the floor after the blast.
"As soon as ANP's candidate Aman Masood was at a distance from me and my brother, suddenly the blast happened. When I rushed to the scene, I saw bodies lying all over the ground, some without limbs, another without a head. I carried the injured to the hospital. I don't know what happened. My brother is still in the hospital," he said.
Pakistan's Taliban, who are close to al Qaeda, have killed more than 120 people in election-related violence since April. The group, which is fighting to topple the U.S.-backed government, regards the elections as un-Islamic.
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