Ahead of the General Elections in Pakistan on 25 July, around 133 people were killed and more than were 125 injured in a powerful suicide blast on two separate rallies in Pakistan. The targeted attacks are reported as the deadliest in a series of assaults on candidates ahead of the polls. As per PTI reports, terrorists targeted a rally of Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area in the troubled Balochistan province. The second attack took place in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the election rally of Akram Khan Durrani, who is contesting elections against Tehreek-E-Insaf chief Imran Khan.
The twin attacks are among the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan since the brazen terror assault on an Army school in Peshawar in December 2014 in which about 150 people, mostly students, were killed. The deadly twin attacks came as former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam returned to the country to face arrest in a corruption case.
Here are the top developments of the deadly twin blasts in Pakistan:
1. Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Balochistan. The outfit announced the claim through its Aamaq news agency without providing further details. Balochistan’s Home Minister Agha Umar Bangalzai had announced that more 200 people were injured and under treatment at different hospitals in Quetta. The condition of some of the wounded is critical. Following the incident, an emergency was declared in Quetta hospitals, with additional medical staff summoned.
2. Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast. They said that around 16-20 kilogram of explosives were used in the attack.
3. Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta. Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk also condemned the attack in separate statements.
4. The second big attack happened in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Just hours before the Balochistan blast, 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.
5. Durrani, who is contesting against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, announced that he will continue campaign despite threats.
6. In the series of blasts before July 25, 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 on Monday. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on the ANP rally.