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

By | July 31, 2023

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Mourners gathered for the funerals of the 54 victims killed in a suicide bombing at an election rally in Khar, Pakistan. The attack targeted a political party with ties to the Taliban and divided Islamist groups in the area. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but suspicions point to either the Islamic State or breakaway factions of the Taliban. The Pakistani military has previously fought against the Taliban in the region. The attack comes as the country prepares for fall elections. ANWARULLAH KHAN and RIAZ KHAN reported

KHAR, Pakistan — A massive suicide bombing at an election rally in KHAR, Pakistan has left at least 54 people dead and nearly 200 injured. The attack took place on Sunday and targeted a political party with ties to the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The bombing has exposed the divisions between different Islamist groups in the region, particularly in areas like Bajur, which borders Afghanistan. The attack occurred during a rally organized by the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, with around 1,000 people in attendance.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a deafening explosion and seeing people crying for help. Ambulances arrived shortly after to transport the wounded to hospitals. Initial investigations suggest that the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate or breakaway factions of the Pakistan Taliban could be responsible for the attack.

The Pakistani military had previously declared Bajur clear of militants in 2016 after years of fighting against the Pakistan Taliban. However, the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, led by hard-line cleric Fazlur Rehman, has remained a strong political force in the region.

As the death toll continues to rise, mourners have been attending funerals and expressing their grief. The attack has further heightened concerns about security ahead of the upcoming fall elections. Pakistani security analyst Mahmood Shah suggested that the attack could be an attempt to create confusion and unrest in the region..

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