“Massive Suicide Bombing Kills 54 at Election Rally for Pro-Taliban Cleric”

By | July 31, 2023

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A massive suicide bombing at an election rally in Khar, Pakistan, has killed at least 54 people and wounded nearly 200. The bombing targeted a political party with ties to the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban. The Islamic State group’s regional affiliate and breakaway factions of the Pakistan Taliban are possible suspects. The attack is believed to be aimed at causing instability ahead of the upcoming elections. The Pakistani military had previously cleared the district of militants, but the party remains a potent political force. The death toll is expected to rise as critically wounded victims succumb to their injuries. ANWARULLAH KHAN and RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press reported

A suicide bombing at an election rally in KHAR, Pakistan has left at least 54 people dead, including five children, and nearly 200 wounded. The attack took place during a rally organized by the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has ties to the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing yet, but it is suspected to be the work of either the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate or breakaway factions of the Pakistan Taliban. The attack highlights the divisions between Islamist groups in the region, particularly in areas like Bajur, which has a strong presence of such groups. Bajur was declared clear of militants by the Pakistani military in 2016, but the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, led by hard-line cleric Fazlur Rehman, remains a powerful political force. The bombing comes ahead of fall elections in the country, and the party has vowed not to be deterred by such attacks. Funerals for the victims were held on Monday, with mourners carrying caskets draped in colorful clothes to burial sites in the hills. The death toll is expected to rise as some critically wounded individuals have succumbed to their injuries. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has pledged to punish those responsible for the attack and assured the Chinese government, as Vice Premier He Lifeng arrived in Islamabad for trade talks, that no obstacles would hinder the friendship between China and Pakistan..

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