x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Bomb kills 14 at pro-Taliban rally

A bomb ripped through a campaign rally of a leading Islamist party in Pakistan yesterday, killing 14 people and wounding dozens more.

PARACHINAR, PAKISTAN // A bomb ripped through a campaign rally of a leading Islamist party in Pakistan yesterday, killing 14 people and wounding dozens more.

The blast at the rally held in the north-west Kurram tribal region by the Jamiat-e-Ulema party is the latest incident of violence targeting candidates, political offices and election-related events as the vote approaches. Much of the violence is believed to have been carried out by the Taliban against liberal and secular parties but yesterday's blast was unique in that it targeted a party believed to have a more favourable relationship with the militant group.

The bomb, which was apparently planted near the main stage of the rally, killed 14 and wounded 50 people, said Javed Khan, a government administrator in Kurram. Two party leaders who were speaking at the event escaped unhurt, Mr Khan said.

One of the candidates, Ainuddin Shakir, said the blast went off just as the candidates were finishing their rally and leaving the stage.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.

The attack brings to 72 the number of people killed in violence targeting politicians and political parties since April 11.

The Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam is considered supportive of the Afghan Taliban's fight against the United States and its allies. It's also sympathetic to the Pakistani Taliban.