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Pakistan twin blast claimed by Islamic State kills 133 people, injures 200

Friday's attack is the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan since the brazen terror assault on an Army school in Peshawar in December 2014

Press Trust of India  |  Peshawar/Karachi 

People rush an injured person to a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. Photo: PTI
People rush an injured person to a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. | Photo: PTI

At least 133 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and over 200 injured on Friday in a powerful 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 Awami Party (BAP) leader in area in the troubled province.

"Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta," District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said.

Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Nawab Aslam Raisani.

The Islamic State terror group 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 and condition of some of the wounded is critical," he said.

"Initially the death toll was not high but many critically injured persons including passed away in hospitals," Balochistan's caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar said.

Friday's attack is the deadliest terror strike in since the brazen terror assault on an Army school in in December 2014 in which about 150 people, mostly students, were killed.

Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a They said that around 16-20 kilogram of explosives were used in the attack.

Following the incident, an emergency was declared in hospitals, with additional medical staff summoned.

The attack came hours after a bomb hit 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.

Durrani was unhurt in the attack. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack.

Durrani, who is contesting in July 25 elections against Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, announced that he will continue 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.

The law and order had suddenly deteriorated ahead of elections despite claims by the government and security forces that terrorism has been wiped out of the country.

President and Prime Minister also condemned the attack in separate statements.

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour and 19 after striking at a corner election meeting in city.

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

On July 7, seven people were injured when a convoy of a Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal came under attack in Bannu.

First Published: Sat, July 14 2018. 10:10 IST
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