Suicide bomber suspected as explosion at Islamist rally in Pakistan kills at least 40

Suicide bomber suspected as explosion at Islamist rally in Pakistan kills at least 40

An explosion ripped through an Islamist political rally in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 150 others, police said.

The Inspector General of Police for the Bajaur district said the blast, likely a suicide bombing, took place in the town of Khar as hundreds gathered to rally behind the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) group.


Officials believe the attack was targeting members of the political group, with its regional leader, Maulana Ziaullah, among those who died in the blast, according to the Associated Press.

Officials said the event was held close to a market square in the town, and was guarded by volunteer party members holding batons.

Despite the security, police chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur told reporters a suicide bomber likely sneaked into the venue and set off the explosion just as high ranking leaders for the political party arrived.

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First responders rushed to the scene, with local broadcasts showing rescue workers carrying the injured away as other residents flee in panic.

An explosion erupted Sunday during the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s rally in Bajaur, Pakistan.

the scene of the blast, likely a suicide bombing, is pictured.
The blast, likely a suicide bombing, killed at least 40 people and injured more than 150.
PTI News

pictured is one of the injured being rushed to to a helicopter to be flown to a hospital.
One of the injured was rushed to a helicopter to be flown to a nearby hospital.
RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Bajaur officials declared a health emergency given the high number of casualties and injuries; the total number of wounded was expected to rise..

Adam Khan, 45, was at the rally when the explosion knocked him to the ground and left him with splinters all over his hands and leg.

“There was all dust and smoke around and I was under the some injured people from where I hardly (could stand) up but only to see chaos and some scattered limbs,” he told the AP.

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No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl has been previously targeted by ISIS.

Injured man is seen standing in hallway with bloody wounds after explosion.
Many were left standing in halls with bloody wounds as they waited to be transported to local hospitals.

The injured are pictured getting help after the explosion.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing yet, which remains under investigation.

pictured are first responders at the scene of the explosion.
First responders rushed to the scene to treat the wounded, who were left bloodied near a market square.
RESCUE 1122 HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on Pakistani leaders to investigate the bombing while urging fellow party members to donate blood to the victims of the blast.

“JUI workers should remain peaceful and federal and provincial governments should provide the best treatment to the injured,” the group said in a statement.

Rehman is notably considered a pro-Taliban cleric, who renamed his group in 2019 following the assassination of their former chief, Samiul Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban.”

The JUI-F advocates for the enforcement of Sharia law in Pakistan.