90 dead in twin poll blasts
At least 90 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and more than 180 others injured today in a powerful suicide blast and a targeted attack on separate election rallies in Pakistan, the deadliest in a series of assaults on candidates ahead of the July 25 polls.
Militants targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the troubled Balochistan province. “Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” a police officer said.
Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani. The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The outfit announced the claim through its Aamaq news agency without providing further details. At least 85 people, including Raisani, were killed and more than 150 injured in a deadly blast, Dawn quoted Balochistan’s caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar as saying. He said the death toll could rise further as 120 people have been wounded in the explosion.
The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal, an alliance of religious party, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Five persons were killed and over 37 other injured, police said.