Pakistan election rally blast toll rises to 25

The death toll from the election rally blast in the Kurram tribal region has shot up to 25, said an official on Tuesday.

Updated: May 07, 2013, 14:17 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Parachinar: The death toll from the election rally blast in the Kurram tribal region has shot up to 25, said an official on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Taliban had attacked the political rally of right-wing Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party in the Kurram tribal belt at Afghan border.

The explosion occurred when a planted device detonated inside the madarsa where the rally was taking place, political agent Riaz Masood said.

The rally of JUI-F`s Munir Khan Orakzai, a former lawmaker from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who is contesting the upcoming elections, 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 had suffered minor injuries.

Sources said that another JUI-F candidate Ainuddin Shakir, was also injured in the blast, the report said.

Emergency and rescue forces reached the spot and shifted the victims to nearby hospitals. Security forces cordoned off the area as a probe into the incident went underway.

It was the first deadly attack on a political party in Pakistan`s tribal belt since campaigning began for Pakistan`s polls, which mark a historic democratic transition in a country ruled by the military for half its life.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso strongly condemned the attack saying that such acts cannot shake the resolve of the nation against terrorism. JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also condemned the killing of innocent people. Orakzai had recently joined the JUI-F.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was targeting a candidate who supported operations against the militants.

The Taliban have staged multiple attacks in the run-up to the May 11 elections.

With PTI Inputs