Death toll rises to 70 in attack on Pakistan election rally

:: Peoples Time Online ::

A suicide bomber killed 70 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.

The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in over a year and is the third incident of election-related violence this week.

Baluchistan caretaker Health Minister Faiz Kakar told Reuters that the death toll had risen to 70 people, with over 120 wounded.

Police had earlier said that more than 1000 people were in attendance at the rally.

Earlier, Agha Umar Bungalzai, provincial home minister, told AFP that the explosion in Mastung town, near the provincial capital of Quetta, killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

“Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” he added. Raisani was younger brother of former provincial chief minister Mir Aslam Raisani.

The explosion comes hours after four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated near a Pakistani politician’s convoy in the country’s northwest near the Afghan border.

The earlier blast, near the town of Bannu, was targeting the convoy of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Akram Khan Durrani, who survived the attack, police said.

Days earlier a bomb claimed by the Pakistani Taliban targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the city of Peshawar on Tuesday. Hospital officials said Friday that the toll in that attack had risen to 22.

Source: Reuters

Peoples Time/AJ

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