70 dead, 120 injured in Mastung blast targeting Balochistan Awami Party corner meeting: Pakistan


At least 70 people, including politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, were killed and 120 injured in a deadly blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district Friday afternoon, provincial Health Minister Faiz Kakar confirmed toDawnNewsTV.Levies sources said the blast targeted a corner meeting organised by Siraj, a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for PB-35 (Mastung). “Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to his wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” Agha Umar Bungalzai, provincial home minister, toldAFPBalochistan’s Civil Defence Director Aslam Tareen as well as Bungalzai both said the blast wasa suicide attack.Tareen said 8 to 10 kilograms of explosives and ball bearings wereused in the attack.Kakar said that the deceased were taken to Civil Hospital Quetta, Bolan Medical Complex and Combined Military Hospital Quetta. Over two dozen bodies, however, were kept in Mastung, he added.Civil Hospital Spokesperson Waseem Baig said the hospital received 53 bodies and 73 wounded. At least 20 of those injured are in critical condition.Nawabzada Siraj RaisaniThe younger brother of former Balochistan chief minister NawabAslam Raisani, Nawabzada Siraj had been chief of the BalochistanMuttahida Mahaz (BMM), formed by Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani in the 1970s, till June this year.He had recentlymerged BMMwith thenewly-formed BAP.Nawab Siraj Raisani. — DawnNewsTVHe was contesting PB-35 (Mastung) for the 2018 elections against his own brother Nawab Aslam Raisani, who is contesting as an independent candidate.Siraj’s teenage son, Hakmal Raisani, had beenkilled in a grenade attackon his vehicle in the same district in 2011. Siraj, who had been present inside the vehicle at the time of the attack, had escaped unhurt.Shrugging off the threat to his own life, he had said at the time that he would continue to “raise the slogan of Pakistan”.Election violenceThe Mastung bombing was the latest — and deadliest — of a