Dozens killed in Pakistan terror strike targeting political rally

Postado Julho 14, 2018

Quetta: The death toll in a suicide bombing in southwestern Pakistan Friday jumped to 70, an official said, the deadliest in a string of attacks on political rallies that have raised security fears ahead of nationwide polls.

Senior police official Qaim Lashari told Reuters the bomber attacked the convoy of Baluchistan provincial assembly candidate Siraj Raisani, killing 10 and wounding 35, including Raisani.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in an email.

The suicide bombing was the second election-related violence to take place on Friday.

Police had earlier said more than 1,000 people were in attendance at the rally.

Among the dead was Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly-formed local Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Bungalzai said.

"Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta", caretaker provincial Home Minister Agha Umar said.

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

Earlier on Friday, a blast targeted former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani's convoy in Bannu.

The officials have said the death toll has climbed at least four people while at least 32 others have sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment in the District Headquarter Hospital in Bannu.

He also used the opportunity to again criticise Pakistan's powerful military, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of its 71-year history, saying Pakistan now has a "state above the state".

His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan's last election.

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

Bilour was part of the predominantly secular, ethnic Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party, which has long competed with Islamist parties for votes in Pakistan's volatile Pashtun lands, along the border with Afghanistan.

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.

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor in a tweet condemned the gruesome attacks in Mastung and went on to declare that, "Pakistan has lost a highly devoted & capable politician,".