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

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

At least 128 people, including Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani, were killed and almost 200 others injured in a suicide attack in Balochistan on Friday.

Provincial 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.

A senior provincial government official also confirmed the figure, adding that 150 others were injured in the attack.

The Islamic State's Amaq News Agency claimed that the group was responsible for carrying out the bombing.

The bombing was the third incident of election-related violence this week.

Five persons were killed and over 37 other injured, police said.

Akram Durrani, former chief minister of the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, was unhurt in the bombing, which struck his rally in the town of Bannu, local police chief Kurram Rashid said.

Underscoring the security threat, two bombs exploded Friday killing many people in the latest election related violence to hit Pakistan.

Police and witnesses said Durrani was traveling in a convoy when a remote-controlled bomb planted in a parked motorcycle exploded near his vehicle.That attack killed four people and injured almost 40 others but Durrani escaped unhurt.The politician is a central leader of a main religious party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F).


On Tuesday, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour, among 22 others, was martyred in a suicide attack in Yakatoot neighbourhood of Peshawar. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a bomb-and-gun attack after an election rally ahead of 2008 polls.

The MMA is a coalition of religious parties based in Pakistan's northwest. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

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.

Local media confirmed the death toll, quoting Balochistan's Home Minister Agha Umar Bangalzai.

But security across the country has dramatically improved since government and military operations cleared large swathes of territory near the Afghan border in recent years.

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.

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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