Thursday, 20 September, 2018

At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast

Disgraced ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan's eastern city of La At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast
Melinda Barton | 14 July, 2018, 06:37

A suicide bomber killed 128 people at an election rally in southwestern Pakistan in the second election-related attack on Friday, officials said, amid growing tensions over ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's return ahead of the July 25 vote.

Senior police official Qaim Lashari had earlier said that more than 1000 people were in attendance at the rally in the town of Mastung in the violence-plagued province of Baluchistan.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its newswire Aamaq.

The blast in the town of Mastung, near the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, was the latest in a string of attacks that have spurred fears of violence ahead of nationwide polls on July 25, and underscored the fragility of Pakistan's dramatic gains in security.

At least 128 people, including Raisani, were killed in the deadly blast, police officials said.

Militants targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the troubled Balochistan province.

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

It's the deadliest attack in the country since 2014.

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.

Earlier this week, a suicide blast had killed Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others in Peshawar.

BANNU: Peoples shifting injured person to hospital after attack.

The country's media regulator warned local news channels to abstain from airing statements "by political leadership containing defamatory and derogatory content targeting various state institutions specifically judiciary and armed forces", the regulator said in a statement.

Durrani is contesting the election from NA-35 (Bannu) on a MMA ticket against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Following the series of attacks this week, activists called for Pakistani authorities to remain vigilant to protect candidates during the final days of the campaign season.

Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Mohammad Khan condemned the incident and summoned an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation in the aftermath of the attack.

Security situation in Pakistan has dramatically improved in recent years, with the military cracking down on militancy that has cost tens of thousands of lives in the past decade.