ISLAMABAD – At least 128 people were killed and 122 others wounded on Friday in a suicide bombing at a political rally in the Mastung district of western Pakistan, Balochistan provincial Health Minister Faiz Kakar told EFE.
The explosion took place amid a gathering of supporters of Siraj Raisani, a leader of the Balochistan Awami Party, at a market in the Darengarh area.
Pakistan is holding general and provincial elections on July 25.
“The attacker was seated among the people and he detonated the explosives he was carrying at the end of the event,” Mastung district police spokesperson Sana Ullah said.
Raisani, who was running for a seat in the provincial legislature, died of his injuries at a hospital in Quetta, his brother, Lashkari Raisani, told EFE, recalling that the party leader’s teenage son was killed in a terrorist attack in 2011.
Health services in Quetta were in a “state of emergency,” Balochistan police spokesman Muhammed Ramzan said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Mastung attack, which came just hours after four people were killed in a blast targeting a political candidate’s convoy in Bannu, a city in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The candidate, former Housing Minister Akram Durrani, escaped unhurt.
On Tuesday, 22 people, including well-known politician Haroon Bilour, were killed and 60 wounded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in suicide attack on a rally of the regional Awami National Party.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that bombing.
Roughly 105 million Pakistanis are eligible to cast ballots in the July 25 elections.