In Pakistan, a suicide bomber has killed 149 people and injured more than 180 people in a terror attack.
The incident was the second deadliest terrorist attack of the country’s history and comes just under two weeks before a general election on July 25. Nine children aged between six and 11 were killed during the incident.
A suicide bomber hit a campaign rally in Mastung, in the south-western province of Balochistan, on Friday. More than 180 were injured.
A local candidate was among the dead, police say.
Earlier on Friday, a bomb attack on a similar rally in the northern town of Bannu killed at least four people.
Some 70 people are still in hospital following the attacks, government officials said on Sunday.
The Islamic State has claimed the deadly attack.
In a statment via email #ISIS claims responsibility for the suicide attack in #Mastung that has killed 85 and left 150 people injured. Numbers are expected to rise in the deadliest terrorist attack in #Pakistan this year. via @SaleemMehsud
— Sophia Saifi (@SophiaSaifi) July 13, 2018
According to the report, Pakistani officials observed a day of mourning on Sunday for those who were killed.
Striking that election campaigning hasn’t really taken a pause on the day after one of the deadliest terror attacks in #Pakistan‘s history.
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) July 14, 2018
Here’s more on the tragic incident and the region, from BBC:
The death toll in the Mastung attack has risen to one of the highest in Pakistan so far, but it does not seem to have shaken the country the way some previous attacks did.
There are no noisy protests in urban centres, and no exhaustive coverage on television screens.
One reason may be the fact that controversies surrounding the upcoming elections are claiming most attention, and since Balochistan province, where Mastung is located, accounts for just 4% of the country’s population, its role in elections is negligible.
Also, Balochistan has traditionally remained one of the most under-reported regions, mainly for two reasons.
First, much of the province is poor rural hinterland, devoid of industry or any major commercial activity. As such, it promises little by way of revenue generation for major media houses to raise their stakes there.
Secondly, a military-enforced media censorship has been in place to deny publicity to an ongoing separatist insurgency in the region, inhibiting the movement of journalists.
111+ deaths in #Mastung but no national outcry. No other country would treat the loss of its citizens this way. Absolutely shameful. Terrorist attack in #Bannu & #Peshawar – who is taking responsibility? Who is in charge of security? Where do we stand on war on terror #Pakistan
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) July 14, 2018