Blast kills at least 20 in Pakistan on election day, hospital says

ISLAMABAD, July 25 (Reuters) - A blast targeting a police van killed more than 20 people in Pakistan's northwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said, as the South Asian nation goes to the vote to choose a new government.

The blast happened near a polling station, said a Reuters witness in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's province of Baluchistan, but it was unclear if voting had been disrupted.

"Over 20 bodies and 28 injured have been shifted to civil hospitals," Dr Waseem Baig, a spokesman for a Quetta hospital, told Reuters.

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Deadly blast rocks Pakistan on election day
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Deadly blast rocks Pakistan on election day
Supporters of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, wave the party's flag from the window of a car as they celebrate during the general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
Supporters of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, celebrate during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Supporters of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, celebrate during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Supporters of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), political party wave a party flag as they celebrate during the general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
A supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), waves a party flag as he celebrates during the general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faiasal Mahmood
Election officials count votes after polling stations closed during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Election officials count votes after polling stations closed during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Election officials count votes after polling stations closed during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A police officer stands guard after polls closed at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A man rushes to a polling station just before it closes during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A voter casts her vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A voter holds her voter number paper as she prepares to vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A woman covers her face after casting her vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A man mourns the death of a relative, who was killed in a suicide blast in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed TEMPLATE OUT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A member of the bomb disposal unit collects evidences from the site, after a suicide blast in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed TEMPLATE OUT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Voters prepare to vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A voter casts her vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A soldier stands guard at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Voters prepare to vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A soldier looks on at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Voters prepare to vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Supporters of Awami National Party (ANP) wear party caps as they celebrate outside a polling station during general election in Peshawar, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz
An election official seals a ballot box after polls closed at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
An election official counts ballots after polls closed during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
An election official seals a ballot box after polls closed at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Election officials count ballots after polls closed during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Election officials count ballots after polls closed during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A soldier keeps watch as people vote at a polling station during the general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
A man prepares to vote at a polling station during the general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
A voter displays her inked thumb after casting her vote during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Michael Gahler, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Mission to Pakistan, visits a polling station during general election in Islamabad, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
People wait in line to cast their vote at a polling station during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A woman casts her ballot while other wait for their turn at a polling station during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) waves the party flag from the window of a car outside a polling station during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A voter walks next to a police officer as she prepares to cast her vote during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A voter walks next to a police officer as she prepares to cast her vote during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
A police officer guides a family as they prepare to cast their votes during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Shehbaz Sharif, brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), reach out to greet his supporters after casting his vote during general election in Lahore, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
Shehbaz Sharif, brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), talks with his supporters on his arrival at a polling station to cast vote during general election in Lahore, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during general election in Rawalpindi, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), speaks to members of media after casting his vote at a polling station during the general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A woman votes next to a soldier at a polling station during the general election in Karachi, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Soldiers stand guard at a polling station during general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A voter holds up her national identity card as she waits to enter a polling station during general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Members of the bomb disposal unit survey the site after a suicide blast, in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed TEMPLATE OUT
Voters wait to enter a polling station during general election in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A member of the bomb disposal unit collects evidences from the site, after a suicide blast in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed TEMPLATE OUT
Members of the bomb disposal unit survey the site after a suicide blast, in Quetta, Pakistan July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed
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Television images showed a charred police vehicle, cordoned off by security officials.

Samaa TV, which put the death toll at 20, said a "suicide attacker" was responsible for the attack. Rival Geo TV said 22 people had been killed. (Additional reporting by Idrees Ali; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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