Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Blast at election campaign event kills at least 128 people in Pakistan

Blast at election campaign event kills at least 128 people in Pakistan

A Pakistani government official says the death toll from a suicide bombing at an election rally in the country's southwest has risen to 128.

Provincial caretaker home minister Agha Umar Bungalzai also confirmed the explosion killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Zardari also condemned terror attack on the convoy of former Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Akram Durrani in Bannu which killed four and injured 35 others.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attacks underscored the fragility of Pakistan's dramatic gains in security after years of steady improvement and widespread optimism that things had turned a corner.

More news: Common heart drug recalled due to contamination with possible carcinogen

In a horrific assault in the south-western Baluchistan town of Mastung, Siraj Raisani a candidate in the provincial Parliament, died when a suicide bomber blew himself up amid scores of supporters who had gathered at a rally.

Mr Raisani was the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on Friday after flying back to the country to face lengthy prison sentences, in a high-stakes gamble to galvanize their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 election.

It came hours after four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated close to another politician's convoy in Bannu on Friday, near the border with Afghanistan.

Adding to the tension surrounding the upcoming poll, a suicide bomber hit an election rally of a regional party in southwestern Pakistan, killing 85 people. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack.

More news: Politicians, Bollywood stars lose followers as Twitter goes on a clean-up drive

His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan's last election. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.

He also used the opportunity to again criticise Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of its 71-year history, saying Pakistan now has a "state above the state". "Saddened to learn of Nawabzada Siraj Raisini's shahadat in this targeted attack as well as the shahadat of 15 other innocent citizens".

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had reportedly claimed responsibility behind the attack.

"Another condemnable terrorist attack on a political gathering - this time in Mastung".

Analysts warn however that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of militancy.

More news: Twitter purge: Don't be surprised if you lose followers

The MMA is a coalition of religious parties based in Pakistan's northwest.

Like this: