Explosions targeting political rallies have killed at least eighty-eight people in two separate incidents in Pakistan, police and government officials say, raising fears of an increase in violence as the country prepares for a general election later this month.
Balochistan Provincial home minister Agha Umar Bangulzai said the suicide attackers targeted a rally of the Balochistan Awami Party. The party’s candidate Siraj Raisani was among those killed in the attack, his brother Lashkari Raisani told newsmen. Bangulzai however said Security has been increased in the whole province.
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 armed group, although those have mostly targeted Shia Muslim pilgrims bound for Iran. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistan is heading to the polls on July 25.