Dozens killed in bombings at Pakistan election rallies

14 Julio, 2018, 03:54 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Shahbaz Sharif brother of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who now heads the Pakistan Muslim League addresses a news conference in Lahore Pakistan Thursday

Senior police official Qaim Lashari had earlier said that more than 1000 people were in attendance at the rally in the town of Mastung in the violence-plagued province of Baluchistan. His party appealed to supporters to head to Lahore and gather at the city's Allama Iqbal Airport to receive Sharif.

Police had earlier said that the attack targeted Raisani's convoy but later changed their statement as video footage of a large tent showing damage from the blast was circulated.

Sharif's son-in-law is serving a one-year prison sentence on the same charge, which stems from the purchase of luxury apartments in the United Kingdom that the court said were bought with illegally acquired money.

Mariam Sharif faces seven years in jail.

Pakistan's caretaker government has launched a crackdown on political gatherings.

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

Security situation in Pakistan has dramatically improved in recent years, with the military cracking down on militancy that has cost tens of thousands of lives in the past decade. The army will deploy 350,000 security personnel to polling stations throughout the country on election day.

Underscoring the security threat, were Friday's bombings that killed 69 people in the latest election related violence.

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The first bomb that killed four people exploded in northwest Pakistan near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party who is running for parliament from the northwestern town of Bannu.

Raisani, who was running for a seat in the provincial legislature in the July 25 elections, was critically injured and rushed to a hospital in the provincial capital Quetta, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The JUI-F central general secretary, who is contesting for the upcoming polls under Muttahida Majlise-e-Amal (MMA), is reported to have remained unhurt in the attack.

Siraj's teenage son, Akmal Raisani, had also been killed in an attack during a football match in the same district in 2011.

Mr Khan, who hopes to become the next prime minister, condemned Friday's attack against his opponent, Mr Durrani.

The attack comes days after Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour was assassinated in a suicide attack at a corner meeting that killed 19 others and injured over 60 people on June 10.

"What credibility will these elections have when the government is taking such a drastic action against our people and this crackdown is taking place all over the country?" he told Reuters at the airport in Abu Dhabi as he waited for a connecting flight to Lahore.

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