At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast

At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast

At least 70 people, including an election candidate, were killed and over 120 were injured in a blast at a rally in Pakistan's Balochistan province on Friday afternoon, Dawn reported, quoting provincial Health Minister Faiz Kakar.

According to senior provincial official Saeed Jamali, the bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where a political meeting was taking place.

Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast.

Among those killed was Baluchistan provincial assembly candidate Siraj Raisani, whose brother Nawab Aslam Raisani had served as the provincial chief minister from 2008 to 2013.

District Police Office Khurram Rasheed said the former KP chief minister remained unhurt in the attack.

Five people were killed when a remote-controlled bomb went off near a JUI-F convoy in Bannu.

This is the second terrorist attack targeting an election candidate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Haroon Bilour and over a dozen others were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a corner meeting in Peshawar's Yakatut area. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

The blast comes days after a bomb claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the city of Peshawar on Tuesday.

Mr Durrani is contesting election on NA-35, Bannu, from the platform of the MMA, a recently revived alliance of the religio-political parties.

Earlier, RPO Karim Khan informed Geo News that the explosion took place 50 metres away from the site of a Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rally in Haved locality, adding that 40 policemen were deployed at the venue for security duties.

Militants have targeted politicians, religious gatherings, security forces and even schools in Pakistan.

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. But analysts have long warned that the country has not tackled the root causes of extremism.

Last month a drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, in neighbouring Afghanistan in what the Pakistani army called a "positive development" that also sparked fears of reprisals.

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