PESHAWAR/KARACHI, July 13 (PTI): Two powerful bomb blasts targeting politicians contesting in the general elections on Friday killed at least 33 people, including a candidate, and injured nearly 80 others during election rallies in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Militants targeted a gathering of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area of Balochistan province, killing at least 28 people and injuring more than 40.
“Raisani succumbed to 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 nature of the attack was not known and police and intelligence agencies were trying to figure out if it was a suicide bombing.
The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious party, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Five persons were killed and over 37 other injured, police said.
Durrani was unhurt in the attack. He later visited the injured in a hospital in Bannu and said that his vehicle was damaged in the attack.
Durrani who is contesting in July 25 elections against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan announced to continue campaign despite threats.
The law and order had suddenly deteriorated ahead of elections despite claims by the government and security forces that terrorism has been wiped out of the country.
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk also condemned the attack in separate statements.
On Monday, a suicide bomber killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour and 19 others after striking at a corner election meeting in Peshawar city.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the ANP rally.