130 killed in Mastung blast; ISIS claims responsibility

At least 130 people, including politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, were killed while over 100 were injured in a blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district Friday afternoon, Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh said.

Takfiri ISIS terrorist group, also known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish, claimed responsibility of the attack, according to the group’s Amaq agency.

Levies sources say the blast targeted a corner meeting for election campaign of Nawabzada Siraj, a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate from PB-35 (Mastung).

Siraj was the younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

The injured have been shifted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Mastung for medical treatment. Siraj was shifted to Quetta where he succumbed to his injuries.

BAP was formed in March this year after the removal of the PML-N-led coalition government in Balochistan. Siraj had merged his own party, the Balochistan Muttahida Mahaz (BMM), with BAP in June.

Siraj’s teenage son, Akmal Raisani, had also been killed in an attack at a football in the district in 2011. Siraj, who was also present in the stadium then, had escaped unhurt.

Election violence
Earlier today, a blast targeted former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani’s convoy in Bannu. While Durrani remained safe, four people were killed and 32 others injured in the attack.

Last night, two people had been injured in a blast near BAP’s election office in Khuzdar.

On July 10, a suicide blast had killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others in Peshawar’s Yaktoot area. The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which had also claimed responsibility for 2012 attack that killed Haroon’s father, Bashir Bilour.

On July 7, at least seven people, including a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), were injured when a convoy came under a bomb attack in Bannu.

Earlier this month, an attack on a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate’s office in North Waziristan’s Razmak tehsil had injured 10.

DAWN

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