“Suicide Bombing at Election Rally Kills 54 in Northwestern Pakistan”

By | July 31, 2023

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A suicide bombing at an election rally in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 54 people, including five children, and injured nearly 200 others. The attack targeted the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has ties to the Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but it is believed to be the work of either the Islamic State group or breakaway factions of the Pakistani Taliban. The attack is seen as an attempt to destabilize the region ahead of fall elections. The Pakistani military has declared the district clear of militants in 2016, but the Jamiat Ulema Islam party remains influential. ANWARULLAH KHAN and RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press reported

KHAR, Pakistan (AP) — A devastating suicide bombing at an election rally in northwestern Pakistan has left at least 54 people dead and nearly 200 wounded. The attack took place in the district of Bajur, which borders Afghanistan and is known for its strong presence of Islamist groups. The target of the bombing was the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has ties to both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

The rally, attended by approximately 1,000 people, was held in a tent near a market in preparation for the upcoming fall elections. Witnesses reported that as the leaders arrived, the crowd chanted religious slogans before being interrupted by the deafening sound of the bomb. Chaos ensued, with people crying for help and ambulances rushing to the scene to transport the wounded to hospitals.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but initial investigations suggest that the Islamic State group’s regional affiliate or breakaway factions of the Pakistani Taliban could be responsible. Pakistani security analyst Mahmood Shah believes that such factions might have orchestrated the attack to create confusion and unrest ahead of the elections.

As the nation mourns, funeral processions were held for the victims, with mourners carrying caskets draped in colorful cloths to burial sites in the hills. Condolences have poured in from across the country, and the government has vowed to punish those responsible for the attack.

This bombing is one of the worst in northwestern Pakistan in the last decade, highlighting the ongoing security challenges faced by the region..

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