Twin blasts in Pakistan claim 133 lives, injure over 200
14 July 2018
In powerful pre-election suicide bomb blasts at the venue of two separate political rallies on Friday , at least 133 people were killed and another 200 injured — in Pakistan's deadliest pre-election violence — as the 25 July polls approach.
Militants targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the restive Balochistan province.
According to District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai, "Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta."
Raisani, a top nationalist leader, is the brother of Nawab Aslam Raisani, former chief minister of Balochistan.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, police officials said. The outfit announced the claim through its Aamaq news agency without providing further details.
Local media confirmed the death toll, quoting Balochistan's home minister Agha Umar Bangalzai.
"We have more than 200 people injured and under treatment at different hospitals in Quetta and condition of some of the wounded is critical," Bangalzai said.
Balochistan's caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar said, "Initially the death toll was not high but many of the critically injured including Siraj Raisani passed away in hospitals."
Following the incident, an emergency was declared in Quetta hospitals, with additional medical staff summoned.
Friday's attack is the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan since the terror strike on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 in which over 120 school children, were killed (See: Taliban attack on Peshwar school kills 126
Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) said around 16-20 kilogram of explosives were used in the attack.
The attack followed a similar attack at a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious party, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Five persons were killed and over 37 others injured, though Durrani escaped unhurt and later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu.
Durrani, who is contesting the 25 July elections against cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.
Durrani later said he would continue to campaign despite threats.
The twin attacks came as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam returned to the country to face arrest in a corruption case.