Explosion in Pakistan leaves at least 36 dead, wounded

Disgraced ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan's easte

Explosion in Pakistan leaves at least 36 dead, wounded

The death toll in an ISIS-claimed suicide blast targeting a political rally in southwest Pakistan on Friday jumped to 128, officials told AFP, in the deadliest attack in the country since 2014.

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was campaigning for an assembly seat in the southern province of Balochistan, was killed in the bomb blast along with dozens of others, Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh told CNN.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least 128 people, including Raisani, were killed in the deadly blast, police officials said.

Bungalzai also confirmed the explosion killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Siraj, the younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Raisani, was attacked during a corner meeting organised for the promotion of his candidature.

Akram Durrani, former chief minister of the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, was unhurt in the bombing, which struck his rally in the town of Bannu, local police chief Kurram Rashid said.

The attack took place in the town of Mastung, days before the general elections in the country on July 25.

Police and witnesses said Durrani was traveling in a convoy when a remote-controlled bomb planted in a parked motorcycle exploded near his vehicle.That attack killed four people and injured almost 40 others but Durrani escaped unhurt.The politician is a central leader of a main religious party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F).

Adding to the tension surrounding the upcoming poll, a suicide bomber hit an election rally of a regional party in southwestern Pakistan, killing 85 people.

The officials have said the death toll has climbed at least four people while at least 32 others have sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment in the District Headquarter Hospital in Bannu.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif said that the attack has raised question over the state of security in the country.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

"The Pakistani authorities have a duty to protect the rights of all Pakistanis during this election period their physical security and their ability to express their political views freely, regardless of which party they belong to", said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International.

His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan's last election.

It came as Pakistan's caretaker government launched a crackdown on political gatherings.

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