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Pakistan: More than 110 Treated for Blast Wounds Ahead of Elections
Pakistan 2012 © Haroon Khan/MSF
ISLAMABAD/NEW YORK, MAY 10 2013—Teams from the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), together with Ministry of Health staff, have treated more than 110 people for blast injuries from election-related violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas over the past four days, MSF said today.
Pakistan is experiencing an increase in violence related to the general and provincial elections taking place on May 11, in the country's first democratic transition of power. MSF staff treated patients for blast injuries at facilities in Hangu and Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Kurram Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
"The escalation in violence has caused massive devastation over a short period of time," said Jean Guy Vataux, MSF country representative in Pakistan. "This is exacerbating an already very difficult situation for the Pakistani people who continue to bear the brunt of these violent acts on every level."
Noncombatants have been the primary victims of the recent violence, which follows several months of armed conflict in Pakistan that mainly injured members of the security forces and armed militants, according to Pakistani media reports.
MSF has been present in Pakistan since 1986, working with Pakistani communities and Afghan refugees. MSF teams have been providing primary and secondary health care in several locations across the country, where people are greatly affected by armed conflict and natural disasters or lack of access to medical care.
MSF teams are currently providing free emergency medical care in Kurram Agency, Bajaur Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh provinces.
MSF relies solely on private financial contributions from individuals around the world and does not accept funding from any government, donor agency, military or politically-affiliated group, for its activities in Pakistan.