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10 killed in second attack on Election Rally

10 killed in second attack on Election Rally

A suicide blast ripped through a crowd at a political rally in southwest Pakistan Friday killing 128 people and wounding 150, officials told AFP, in one of the deadliest attacks in the country's history.

Witnesses said that Siraj Raisani of the regional Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) was preparing to address hundreds of supporters in the Mastung district when the bomber near the stage detonated explosives strapped to his body.

A senior provincial government official also confirmed the figure, adding that 150 others were injured in the attack.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack that left 128 people dead, police officials said.

Election violence by the Islamist militants is common in Pakistan.

Police had earlier said that the attack targeted Raisani's convoy but later changed their statement as video footage of a large tent showing damage from the blast was circulated.

Earlier he had also confirmed that the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber and that the explosion had killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

"Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta", District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said.

Raisani was the younger brother of former provincial chief minister Mir Aslam Raisani.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on Friday after flying back to the country to face lengthy prison sentences, in a high-stakes gamble to galvanize their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 election.

At least four people were killed and 32 others were injured in a bomb blast near the convoy of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu on Friday.

The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in over a year.

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On July 7, seven people were injured when a convoy of a Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal came under attack in Bannu.

Haroon Bilour, a senior secular politician and candidate for a provincial assembly seat, was among those killed in Tuesday's bombing.

PTI leader Imran Khan on Twitter said, "Another condemnable terrorist attack on a political gathering - this time in Mastung". No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Expressing concerns over such attacks during election campaigns, he called for serious investigations in these attacks.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari demanded that the security of contesting candidates be ensured.

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