Death toll in Balochistan suicide blast reached 130 people

Vastavam web: The death toll in the suicide blast targeting an election rally in the restive Balochistan reached 130 today with Pakistan announcing tomorrow as a day of national mourning over the recent terror attacks in the country.Militants yesterday targeted a gathering of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in the Mastung area in the troubled province, killing at least 128 people and injuring over 200 others. Raisani, who was a candidate from PB-35 (Mastung), was among those killed in the attack.

Two persons succumbed to their injuries today, taking the death toll to 130, the Express Tribune reported, adding that at least 20 of the injured are reported to be in critical condition.The Islamic State terror group had claimed responsibility for Balochistan attack through its Aamaq news agency.

Authorities suspect the suicide bomber entered Balochistan from Afghanistan and was provided a safe house in the Chagi area before he came to Mustung.Pakistan Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement, today said in view of tragic incidents of terrorist attacks at Peshawar on Tuesday and in Mastung and Bannu yesterday, the government has announced to observe one day official mourning throughout the country tomorrow.Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk directed the Ministry of Interior to formally issue a notification for declaring tomorrow as the day of mourning as a mark of respect to those killed in recent terror attacks.

The Baluchistan government had already announced a two-day mourning in the province.The funeral prayers of Raisani were held in Quetta this evening with hundreds of people in attendance following which he was laid to rest in his hometown of Kanak in Mastung.Pakistani army chief General Javed Qamar Bajwa, along with other high ranking military and police officials, the caretaker chief minister of Baluchistan and his cabinet, also attended his funeral prayers.Lashkari demanded setting up of a “truth commission” to probe all decisions and policies made by the governments dating back to General Zia-ul-Haq’s era.

“Those who make policies are responsible and answerable for the blood of the innocent. These (terrorist attacks) are a consequence of incorrect policies,” he lamented.Normal life remained disrupted and business activities suspended in various parts of the Quetta city as security has been put on high alert in the area.With terrorists striking at ease before the general elections, Pakistani security establishment was under pressure to improve security and intelligence gathering to avoid further election carnage.”It has never been more true that Pakistan’s security establishment needs to focus on security, not politics,” tweeted analyst Mosharraf Zaidi.

Following the yesterday’s twin attacks, the Election Commission of Pakistan summoned Chief of National Coordination Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) today to brief it on security threats to leaders of various political parties.In a letter written to the authority, the commission had said it should be briefed about the security arrangements for political parties and overall security situation in the country, the ARY news said.The NACTA had recently warned of possible deadly attacks on various politicians, including Imran Khan, ANP’s head Afsandyar Wali, chairman of the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and some PML-N leaders.