Election violence results in 128 deaths
TWO ATTACKS in Pakistan’s troubled election campaign have killed 128 people – with one candidate among those who died in a bomb blast in south-western Baluchistan province.
The violence came ahead of disgraced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan.
Mr Sharif has returned along with his daughter Mariam to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges, anti-corruption officials said. Mariam Sharif faces seven years in jail.
In the Baluchistan town of Mastung, Siraj Raisani a candidate in the provincial Parliament, died when a suicide bomber blew himself up amid scores of supporters who had gathered at a rally.
Mr Raisani is the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani.
Caretaker home minister Agha Umar Bungalzai said another 300 people were injured in the carnage.
It was the second election-related violence to occur on Friday.
The first bomb killed four people exploded in the north-west, near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party who is running for parliament from the town of Bannu.
The explosion targeted candidate Akram Khan Durrani, who escaped unhurt.
Mr Durrani is running in the July 25 vote against popular former MP Imran Khan. He is a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-eAmal, an election alliance of radical religious groups.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Baluchistan attack.
Mr Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday’s attack against his opponent, Mr Durrani.