Karachi: Two powerful bomb blasts targeting politicians contesting in the general elections on Friday killed at least 111 people, including a candidate, and injured nearly 180 others during election rallies in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Officials said that the death toll could rise further as many people have been wounded in the explosions. At least 20 people injured were in critical condition. According to reports, the Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
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. -Agencies
5 dead, 37 injured
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, and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack. Durrani announced to continue campaign despite threats.
106 dead, 150 injured
Militants targeted a gathering of the Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung, Balochistan, killing at least 85 people and injuring at least 150. The attack came hours after the first attack. The nature of the attack was not known, police and intelligence agencies said.
- ‘Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,’ police said. Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani.
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.