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PESHAWAR: Two Pakistanis were killed Friday in a confrontation between police and followers of ex-prime minister Imran Khan, police and his party said, the first confirmed fatalities over a fractious election count.

A delayed count is underway after Pakistan’s election on Thursday, with candidates backed by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) faring better than expected despite a crackdown targeting the party.

Sporadic PTI protests have broken out amid claims the delay is allowing authorities to rig the vote-counting against them.

Nine killed on election day in Pakistan

Police official Sahibzada Sajjad Ahmed, from the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said PTI protesters “started pelting stones at the police and set fire to a police vehicle”.

“Due to the intense stone pelting by PTI workers, two protesters were hit by stones and lost their lives,” he told AFP.

PTI candidate Syed Fareen told AFP the demonstration was over the party being “usurped” and “the police resorted to firing on peaceful protesters, resulting in the loss of lives of two of our workers”.

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