Dozens killed, 100 injured in blast at rally in northern Pakistan

Islamabad, Jul 30 (EFE).- At least 35 people were killed and over 100 were injured on Sunday in a suicide attack during a political rally in northern Pakistan, a police source told EFE.

The attack took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, during a rally organized by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a hardline Islamic party within Pakistan’s ruling coalition around 4PM.

“As of now 35 people are killed and 130 are injured in the blast” Aziz Khan, a police officer at Khar police station told EFE.

“There were hundreds of people present when it happened. More casualties are feared. The convention was ongoing in Khar town of Bajour District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Gul Khan, another police officer at the same station, added.

The police warned that the number of casualties could increase due to the large number of attendees at the event.

The attack has not been claimed by any insurgent group.

Pakistan has seen a surge in terrorism-related incidents since the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan in August 2021, coinciding with the US pullout from the country.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan armed group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, announced in December the end of a ceasefire agreed with the government almost a year ago,

According to a report by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, militancy-related incidents rose by 79 percent during the first half of the year compared to the corresponding period of 2022.

The report stated that 271 militant attacks occurred from January to June, claiming 389 lives.

In the first six months of 2022, 150 attacks killed 293 people and injured 487..

The second half of 2022 recorded 228 attacks, resulting in 246 fatalities. EFE