128 dead 150 injured in Mastung blast targeting Balochistan Awami Party corner meeting

July 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

At least 128 people, including politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, were killed and more than 200 injured in a deadly suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district on Friday afternoon, Balochistan Home Minister Agha Umar Bangulzai told DawnNewsTV late evening.

The militant Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency. The attack is the deadliest since the 2014 carnage at Peshawar’s Army Public School.

“Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to his wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” Bangulzai had told AFP earlier.

Balochistan’s Civil Defence Director Aslam Tareen, as well as Bangulzai, had both confirmed earlier that the blast was the result of a suicide attack.

Provincial officials said an unidentified attacker had targeted a corner meeting organised by Siraj, a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for PB-35 (Mastung). Senior provincial official Saeed Jamali said the bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of the compound where the political meeting was taking place.

Senior Vice-President of BAP Sarfaraz Bugti condoled Nawabzada Siraj’s death.

It is pertinent to mention here that the spy chiefs of Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan had reportedly met on Tuesday in Islamabad over the growing threat to the region from the militant Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office had denied knowledge of the meeting, but officials had privately confirmed to Dawn that the meeting took place.

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