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Bomb Blast Kills 10 At Election Rally In Pakistan
14 July 2018, 06:34 | Erica Roy
Pakistan: At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast
A province already scarred with violence, Balochistan witnessed a bloodbath when a suicide bomber, carrying at least 15kg of explosives, struck a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) election rally in Mastung, martyring PB-35 candidate and former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, and 85 others. A senior provincial government official also confirmed the figure, adding that 150 others were injured.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pakistan's caretaker government launched a crackdown on political gatherings on Friday as Sharif, who was ousted by the Supreme Court past year and convicted in absentia of corruption a week ago, flew back to rally his party ahead of the general elections.
Picture: EPAProvincial caretaker Home Minister Agha Umar Bungalzai says about 300 people were also wounded today when the bomber targeted a rally for candidate Siraj Raisani, who was running for a seat in the provincial legislature. Former Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani's convoy was targeted, Dawn reported.
The attack was the deadliest yet ahead of the July 25 parliamentary election and it came despite assurance from the military that it would take all possible measures to ensure a peaceful environment for the vote.
It came hours after four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated near a Pakistani politician's convoy in Bannu on Friday, near the border with Afghanistan.
The outlawed Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Peshawar attack, condemning Bilour and his predominantly secular Awami National Partyas "enemies of Islam". Hospital officials said Friday that the toll in that attack had risen to 22.
"What credibility will these elections have when the government is taking such a drastic action against our people and this crackdown is taking place all over the country?" he told Reuters at the airport in Abu Dhabi as he waited for a connecting flight to Lahore. Other local authorities confirmed the attack. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, also condemned the attack.
Analysts warn, however, that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of extremism, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks.
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