Death toll in Mastung carnage rises 149

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ISLAMABAD: The death toll from a suicide attack on an election rally in Mastung Balochistan on Friday spiked to 149, officials said, putting it among the deadliest attacks in Pakistan’s history.

Among the dead was the party’s provincial candidate, Siraj Raisani in Friday’s attack at a rally for the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) outside the town of Mastung.

A video clip showed Raisani beginning his speech just before the attack, greeting crowds seated on the ground under a large tent before the blast hit and the image cut off.

Provincial government officials said they were not told about the rally and so had not provided security to Raisani, beyond the bodyguards in his security detail.

“The death toll of Mastung carnage is now 149,” senior police official Qaim Lashari told Reuters, adding that more than 180 people were wounded and the dead included nine children.

Many of the wounded remain in critical condition at hospitals in Mastung, the provincial capital of Quetta and in the southern city of Karachi. Officials expect the death toll to rise.

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