133 die in twin blasts at poll events

A man mourns the death of his relative after the suicide attack in Quetta. (Reuters)

Peshawar/Karachi: At least 133 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and more than 125 injured on Friday in a powerful suicide blast and a targeted attack on separate election rallies in Pakistan.

Militants targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the Balochistan province.

"Raisani succumbed to his wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta," district police officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said.

Raisani is the brother of former chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The outfit made the claim through its Aamaq news agency without providing further details.

At least 128 people, including Raisani, were killed and more than 150 injured in a deadly blast, Dawn newspaper quoted Balochistan's caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar as saying.

"Initially the death toll was not high but many critically injured persons including Siraj Raisani passed away in hospitals," Kakar said. He said the death toll could rise further as 120 people have been wounded in the explosion.

Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad confirmed that it was a suicide blast. They said that around 16-20kg of explosives were used in the attack.

Following the incident, an emergency was declared in Quetta hospitals.

The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal. Five persons were killed and over 37 were injured, police said. Durrani was unhurt in the attack. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu. PTI


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