Suicide bomb at political rally in Pakistan kills at least 40, injures 130

suicide-bomb-at-political-rally-in-pakistan-kills-at-least-40,-injures-130
Suicide bomb at political rally in Pakistan kills at least 40, injures 130

At least 40 people were killed and over 130 injured in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a political rally. The blast occurred at a gathering of the conservative Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party in Bajaur, a former tribal area bordering Afghanistan. The provincial police chief confirmed that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomb. Emergency measures were implemented in the hospitals of Bajaur and surrounding areas, with critically injured individuals being transported to Peshawar by military helicopters. The district police officer stated that the JUI-F organized a workers convention in Khar town, resulting in the loss of 40 lives and more than 130 injuries. Pakistan has experienced an increase in attacks by Islamist militants since the breakdown of a ceasefire between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamabad last year. However, most recent attacks have targeted security forces and installations rather than political gatherings. The TTP, which is not directly affiliated with the Taliban in Afghanistan but pledges allegiance to them, is believed to have sanctuaries in Afghanistan, a claim denied by the Taliban-run administration. Afghanistan’s administration condemned the explosion, and it is worth noting that the area has also been targeted by a local chapter of the Islamic State. The JUI-F, the targeted party, is a significant ally of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government, which is preparing for national elections by November.

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