United Nations chief condemns ISIS attack on political rally in Pakistan that killed over 100 civilians
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Saturday strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Pakistan targeting political rallies and candidates, his deputy spokesman said.
The UN stands in solidarity with and supports the efforts of the government of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman, said in a statement.
A suicide bombing in Mastung in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province that targeted an election campaign event killed 132 people and injured many others.
The blast was the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan this year.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility of the suicide bomb. The blast ripped off amidst a crowd during a political rally in southwest Pakistan and immediately killed 128 and wounded 150 on Friday, AFP reported.
The attack has been considered the deadliest attack to the country till date, amid a series of attacks ahead of nationwide polls on July 25. The attack took place in the town of Mastung, near the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta.
Authorities reported that the suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where the political meeting was taking place.
“Human remains and red bloody pieces of flesh were littered everywhere in the compound. Injured people were crying in pain and fear,” Attah Ullah, a local journalist said.
Salam Baloch, a political worker said he heard a “deafening blast” and saw a “thick grey ball of fire and smoke”.
“People put… bodies and the injured in rickshaws and other vehicles and rushed them to hospital before rescue officials arrived,” he stated.
Emergency workers also took the victims in ambulances. Survivors were taken to Mastung and nearby Quetta hospitals, being greeted by a crowd of mourners.
Siraj Raisani, running for a provincial seat with the newly-formed local Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), was also killed in the spot, the home minister said.
The military had warned of threats to security in the weeks leading to election, saying it would deploy more than 370,000 soldiers on polling day. Pakistani authorities had been called by activists to be vigilant to protect candidates during the final days of the campaign season.