89 killed, 120 hurt in Pakistan election campaign bombing

14 July, 2018, 03:57 | Author: Wade Massey
  • 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

Earlier, Agha Umar Bungalzai, provincial home minister, told AFP that the explosion in Mastung town, near the provincial capital of Quetta, killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Sharif's arrival in the eastern city of Lahore was delayed until 8pm.

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.

Mariam Sharif faces seven years in jail.

There was barbed wire across some roads leading to Lahore airport on Friday and barricades at the roadside ready to close off main boulevards should crowds start to gather.

Sharif has been banned from participating in politics, and his brother Shahbaz Sharif now heads the Pakistan Muslim League and is campaigning for re-election on 25 July.

It came hours after another bomb killed at least four people at a campaign rally in Bannu in the country's northwest.

On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself at the election rally of a secular Pashtun party, killing one of its candidates and 20 activists in the deadliest attack in Pakistan this year.

It is the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan this year.

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Earlier in the day, at least four people were killed and 32 others were injured in a bomb blast near the convoy of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu.

The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan during the past few years and is the third incident of election-related violence this week.

"We have more than 200 people injured and under treatment at different hospitals in Quetta and condition of some of the wounded is critical", he said.

Mr Durrani is running against popular former MP Imran Khan.

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.

The second explosion was in southwestern Baluchistan province, that killed 65 people and critically wounded the candidate.

"Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Akram Durrani and his convoy", Khan tweeted after the attack.

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. The military denied the accusations, and said its assistance had been requested by Pakistan's election commission.

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