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Pakistan buries dead from massive suicide attack at political rally that killed 54

by Chloe Baker
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suicide bombing

In Pakistan, mourners gathered for the funerals of those killed in a devastating suicide bombing that occurred during an election rally for a pro-Taliban cleric in Bajur. The attack, which took place on Sunday, resulted in the deaths of at least 54 people, including five children, and left nearly 200 others wounded. The targeted political party was the Jamiat Ulema Islam, known for its connections to both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

The bombing has caused suspicion and speculation among authorities and analysts. While no group immediately claimed responsibility, initial investigations pointed towards the regional affiliate of the Islamic State as a potential suspect. However, some experts also highlighted the possibility of breakaway factions within the Pakistani Taliban being behind the attack. Such acts of violence are seen as attempts to sow discord and instability, particularly in the lead-up to the upcoming fall elections.

The tragic incident has deeply affected families and communities, with mourning rituals and funeral processions taking place in accordance with local customs. The death toll has continued to rise due to the severity of injuries sustained by some of the victims. Many who were injured but in stable condition have been discharged from hospitals, while those in critical condition were transported to Peshawar for further medical care.

The political party targeted in the attack, led by cleric Fazlur Rehman, remains resolute despite the violence, asserting that such acts will not deter their determination to participate in the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government, of which Rehman’s party is a part, has vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The bombing coincided with the visit of Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng to Islamabad, where he signed agreements to strengthen trade and economic ties between China and Pakistan. The government, while emphasizing the importance of friendship with China, canceled a cultural event originally planned to honor He due to the national mourning.

Factions within the Taliban and the Afghan Taliban have condemned the attack, stating that it was intended to create divisions among Islamist groups. This incident represents one of the deadliest acts of violence in northwestern Pakistan in recent years, reminiscent of previous devastating attacks, including the 2014 massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about suicide bombing

1. What was the target of the suicide bombing in Pakistan?

The target of the suicide bombing in Pakistan was an election rally for a pro-Taliban cleric belonging to the Jamiat Ulema Islam party.

2. How many people were killed in the bombing?

At least 54 people were killed in the suicide bombing, including five children, and nearly 200 others were wounded.

3. Who claimed responsibility for the attack?

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. However, initial investigations pointed towards the regional affiliate of the Islamic State as a potential suspect.

4. What was the motive behind the attack?

The attack appeared to reflect divisions between Islamist groups in the region, with the Jamiat Ulema Islam party being targeted due to its ties to both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. Some analysts suggested that breakaway factions within the Pakistani Taliban might be responsible to create confusion and instability ahead of the elections.

5. How did the government and people respond to the attack?

The government vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice and expressed condolences to the victims’ families. Mourners conducted funeral rituals in accordance with local customs. The attack was also condemned by the Taliban and the Afghan Taliban as an attempt to create divisions among Islamist groups.

6. Has this region experienced similar attacks in the past?

Yes, the region has been prone to terrorist attacks. In the past, there have been deadly incidents, including the 2014 massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar and other attacks on mosques and police headquarters.

More about suicide bombing

  • “Pakistan buries dead from massive suicide attack at political rally that killed 54” (source: The Washington Post)
  • “Suicide bomber at political rally in northwest Pakistan kills at least 44 people, wounds nearly 200” (source: CBC News)
  • “What’s behind the Pakistani Taliban’s insurgency?” (source: Al Jazeera)
  • “Pakistan Taliban ends cease-fire with govt, vows new attacks” (source: The Washington Times)

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