This article has been updated with the latest number of confirmed dead.
At least 128 people are dead after a bomb went off at an election rally in Pakistan. Video from the scene is included below.
It is believed the bombing is part of an effort to destabilize the country by those loyal to a former prime minister, who is being returned to the country to face jail on corruption charges.
Later this month, Pakistan will hold elections that many say are key to clearing out corruption and stabilize the political situation. In recent years, Pakistan has made strides to root out terrorists and radicals in the region, in support of the United States, but that effort could be in jeopardy if the situation deteriorates.
Several other terror attacks have been carried out in recent months, but today’s attack was by far the largest and most deadly.
Sorrow & horror at Mastung in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province as death toll of Friday’s bomb blast reached 85 including a candidate Siraj Raisani. The blast targeted Rasiani’s campaign meeting for July 25 polls. Rescue workers are seen busy in lifting bodies following the blast. pic.twitter.com/yK9Ofkry0U
— VOA DEEWA (@voadeewa) July 13, 2018
Some Pakistani residents on Twitter say the death toll is actually higher.
Black Friday for people of Pakistan when 85 Baluch brothers have been killed by religious terrorists and Lahore remains a battleground between police and the PMLN activists exercising their democratic right. We can’t stop terrorists but can crush our own people. So sad
— Imtiaz Alam (@ImtiazAlamSAFMA) July 13, 2018
A suicide bomber killed 70 people at an election rally in southwestern Pakistan in the second election-related attack on Friday, officials said, amid growing tensions over ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s return ahead of the July 25 vote.
The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in over a year and is the third incident of election-related violence this week.
Baluchistan caretaker Health Minister Faiz Kakar told Reuters that the death toll had risen to 70 people, with over 120 wounded.
Police had earlier said that more than 1000 people were in attendance at the rally.
It appears there was a second attack today aimed at another Pakistani politician, as a bomb went off near his convoy, killing four people, while he was uninjured.
Pakistani politicians also condemned the attack.
Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Akram Durrani & his convoy. There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design intended to target these historic elections to succeed.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 13, 2018
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