At least 15 people were killed and nearly 70 injured when a bomb ripped through a rally of the right-wing Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in Pakistan’s central Kurram tribal region, on Monday, ahead of the May 11 general elections.
Assistant Political Agent of central Kurram region Mohammad Fazal said at least 15 people had died in the incident, with reports saying more than 70 people injured.
Political agent Riaz Masood said the explosion occurred when a planted device detonated inside the madrassa where the rally was taking place.
A rally of JUI-F’s Munir Khan Orakzai, a former lawmaker from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), was taking place when the explosion occurred, The Dawn reported.
Qadeer Orakzai, the brother of Munir, said that the leader was getting off the stage when the blast occurred and that he suffered minor injuries.
Sources also said that another JUI-F candidate Ainuddin Shakir, was also injured in the blast.
Emergency and rescue forces reached the spot and shifted the victims to nearby hospitals. Security forces cordoned off the area as a probe was underway.
It was the first deadly attack on a political party in Pakistan’s tribal belt since campaigning began for Pakistan’s polls, which marks a historic democratic transition in a country which was ruled by the military for half its life.