More than 161 people were killed and 652 injured in 56 bomb blasts as militants escalated attacks across Pakistan in May when the country held elections, according to official statistics.

Among the 56, four were suicide attacks that killed 40 people and injured 143 others, Xinhua reported.

After the Pakistani government set the general elections on May 11, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups told the public to keep away from political gatherings.

During the month, at least 42 political rallies, gatherings and offices of different political parties were targeted, leaving over 100 people dead.

The worst of these attacks took place on May 6, 2013 when a suicide bomber targeted a candidate of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI—F), a religious-political party, in the tribal region of Kurram Agency.

Although the attacker missed the target, the blast killed 26 people and injured 67 others.