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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pakistan. Explosion at a political rally. Many dead and wounded

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An explosion occurred during a political rally in northwestern Pakistan, Geo News reported, citing local officials. The media reports dozens of dead and many injured.

The explosion took place in the suburbs of Khar – the capital of the Bajur district bordering Afghanistan – during a rally of the fundamentalist Islamic party Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI-F).

Explosion at political rally in PakistanPAP/EPA/RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT

Reuters reported that the cause of the explosion is unknown. According to Geo News, local police confirmed that an initial investigation concluded that it was a suicide attack.

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Explosion at political rally in PakistanAssociated Press/East News

Many dead and injured

There are conflicting reports on the number of victims. A spokesman for the local emergency services told Reuters that 17 people had been killed and more than 70 injured in initial reports, but said the numbers could rise. The Geo News portal reports 35 dead. Pakistani Information Minister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel told the portal that more than 200 people were injured in the explosion.

Explosion at political rally in PakistanPAP/EPA/RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT

Explosion at political rally in PakistanPAP/EPA/RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT

The injured were taken to nearby hospitals, many in serious condition. Among the injured is a Geo News cameraman, who was transported to hospital in Lower Dir, his condition is described as critical.

The organizer of the rally, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, a politician and cleric, is considered a supporter of the Afghan Taliban. After the explosion, he appealed to party activists to go to the hospital and donate blood.

A rescue operation is underway by the security forces.

Explosion at political rally in PakistanPAP/EPA/RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT



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