Monday, 18 February, 2019

Dozens killed in Pakistan terror strike targeting political rally

Disgraced ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan's eastern city of La Pakistan readies for disgraced ex-PM Sharif's return from UK
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 03:54

He was taken into custody to serve his sentence, however he is expected to appeal and seek bail.

At least 85 people have died in a suicide attack in Pakistan that targeted the convoy of a political candidate in this month's general election, according to regional Health Minister Faiz Kakar.

Today's attack is 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 motorcade of the religious party Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) was heading to a meeting in the semi-autonomous Bannu district when the blast happened in the morning. He also confirmed the blast was a suicide attack.

Sharif's arrival in the eastern city of Lahore was delayed until 8pm.

Mr Sharif returned late on Friday from London along with his daughter Maryam to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

There was barbed wire across some roads leading to Lahore airport on Friday and barricades at the roadside ready to close off main boulevards should crowds start to gather. Police made 140 arrests as part of an effort to keep Sharif supporters from inciting trouble. The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in more than a year and the third incident of election-related violence this week.

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The Balochistan Awami Party was created in March after the removal of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) coalition government in Balochistan, Dawn reported.

In 2015, at least two people were killed and three others injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack on Durrani's convoy in the Narmikhel area of Bannu.

Police had earlier said more than 1,000 people were in attendance at the rally.

Durrani is contesting the election from NA-35 (Bannu) on a MMA ticket against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The second explosion was in southwestern Baluchistan province, that killed 65 people and critically wounded the candidate. In a tweet, he said there seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the July 25 vote.

"The Pakistani authorities have a duty to protect the rights of all Pakistanis during this election period - their physical security and their ability to express their political views freely, regardless of which party they belong to", said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International.

Days earlier a bombing claimed by the Pakistani Taliban targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the city of Peshawar on Tuesday.