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Pakistan: At least 111 killed, more than 180 injured in twin bomb blasts targeting election rallies in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The nature of the attack was not known and police and intelligence agencies were trying of figure out if it was a suicide bombing.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, Islamabad [ Updated: July 13, 2018 23:47 IST ]
  The nature of the attack was not known and police and

 

The nature of the attack was not known and police and intelligence agencies were trying to figure out if it was a suicide bombing.

Two powerful bomb blasts targeting politicians contesting in the general elections on Friday killed at least 111 people, including a top nationalist leader, and injured nearly 180 others during election rallies in Pakistan's restive Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. 

Caretaker provincial Home Minister Agha Umar Bangulzai confirmed the death toll to the Express News.

Militants targeted a gathering of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area of Balochistan province, killing at least 28 people and injuring more than 40. 

"Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta," District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said. 

Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani.

The nature of the attack was not known and police and intelligence agencies were trying to figure out if it was a suicide bombing. 

Balochistan's Civil Defence Director Aslam Tareen said 16 to 20 kg of explosives and ball bearings were used in the attack.

Civil Hospital spokesperson Waseem Baig said the hospital received 53 bodies and 73 wounded. At least 20 of those injured were in critical condition.

The Mastung bombing was the latest, and deadliest, of a string of attacks targeting politically exposed persons ahead of the July 25 election.

Strongly condemning the attack, interim Chief Minister Balochistan Alauddin Murree directed Deputy Commissioner of Mastung to submit a report of the incident.

"The attack is a conspiracy to sabotage the electoral process in the province," he said in a statement.

Murree ordered the law enforcement agencies to ensure those behind the attack were apprehended. 

The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious party, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Five persons were killed and over 37 other injured, police said.

Durrani was unhurt in the attack. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack. 

Durrani who is contesting in July 25 elections against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan announced to continue campaign despite threats. 

The law and order had suddenly deteriorated ahead of elections despite claims by the government and security forces that terrorism has been wiped out of the country. 

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk also condemned the attack in separate statements. 

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour and 19 others after striking at a corner election meeting in Peshawar city. 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the ANP rally. 

Before that, on July 7, seven people, including a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, were injured when a convoy came under a bomb attack in Bannu.

There was also an attack on PTI candidate's office in North Waziristan's Razmak tehsil that had injured 10.

 

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