Voting begins in Pakistan by-elections

Islamabad, Aug 22 (IANS) Voting started in Pakistan's by-elections for national assembly and provincial assembly seats Thursday, officials said.

Elections are being held on 41 seats -- 15 national assembly seats and 26 provincial assemblies seats -- across the country, Xinhua reported.

Nearly 500 candidates representing different political parties are contesting the elections. Over 8 million people are eligible to cast votes.

The polling process began at 8 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m.

Troops have been deployed at some sensitive polling stations to ensure security, election commission officials said.