Conflicts & War

Death toll from Pakistan suicide bombing on political rally rises to 63

Islamabad, Aug 3 (EFE).- The death toll from the weekend suicide bombing at a Pakistan political rally of a pro-Taliban party has risen to 63, police said on Thursday.

Around 120 people who suffered injuries in the explosion on Sunday in the Khar town of Bajour district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are still receiving treatment.

The Islamic State-Khorasan, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack in the region near the Afghanistan border.

It was a previous stronghold of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), though not directly linked, shares ideological links with the Afghan Taliban movement.

The pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a religiopolitical group, part of the coalition government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had organized the rally.

“The death toll has risen to 63 and around 120 are still under treatment in different hospitals,” police spokesperson Israr Khan told EFE.

The officer said more injured had succumbed to their injuries, and the police collected data on those whose families had recovered the bodies from the blast site.

“Search and strike operation jointly by the military and other law enforcement agencies is underway,” he said.

Earlier, Khar police station head Niaz Mohammed said they arrested three suspects in the bombing.

Police said suicide bombers used 10-12 kg of explosives in the blast.

It is not the first time the anti-Taliban Islamic State has targeted JUIF leadership and workers.

Hard-line cleric and politician Fazlur Rehman, who escaped at least two known bomb attacks in 2011 and 2014, heads JUIF.

Rehman is a strong supporter of the Afghan Taliban government.

Both the Afghan Taliban and the TTP have condemned the bombing.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorism-related incidents following the fall of Kabul to the Afghan Taliban.

Islamabad has accused the Afghan Taliban of providing “safe havens” to the TTP leadership and fighters on their soil.

The Afghan Taliban has denied the charges. EFE


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