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Terrorist Attack at a Political Rally in Pakistan Leaves Hundreds Dead

A powerful explosion at a political rally in Pakistan’s Balochistan province has killed scores of people, according to officials, as a separate blast at another campaigning event further north resulted in the deaths of at least four people.

The two incidents, which killed at least 123 people on Friday, have raised fears of an increase in violence as the country prepares for a general election later this month.

In the southwest town of Dringarh, about 35km south of the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, a suicide attacker targeted a rally of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), killing at least 119 people.

At least 103 bodies were moved to Quetta’s main Civil Hospital, said hospital official Ali Mardan. A further 40 bodies were moved to Mastung’s Nawab Ghaus Baksh Hospital, said local official Qaim Lashari. Twelve more bodies bodies were received at Quetta’s Bolan Medical Complex and one other at the Combined Military Hospital.

In a statment via email ISIS claims responsibility for the suicide attack in Mastung that has killed over 100 people and left 200 people injured. Numbers are expected to rise in the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan this year.

“It was a suicide bomber,” said provincial home minister Agha Omar Bangulzai.

Message on Defence Day of Pakistan, 23rd March 2018, by the brave son of Pakistan, Nawabzada Siraj Raisani Shaheed.

May Allah Almighty grant you & all those martyred in Mastung Blast the highest honours.

The BAP’s candidate Siraj Raisani was running for election to the provincial assembly in his home district of Mastung, where the attack took place. The area has been the site of several attacks by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) armed group, although those have mostly targeted Shia Muslim pilgrims bound for Iran.

Ethnic Baloch nationalists, who are fighting for independence from Pakistan, have also claimed several attacks on election candidates in the region in recent days.

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