Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mastung Suicide Bombing in Balochistan: ISIS Takes Responsibility

ISIS has taken responsibility for the Mastung Suicide Bombings in the volatile Balochistan region. The terrorist organization, “Islamic State” which has slowly started to create terror in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has claimed responsibility for the attack in the province of Balochistan in the southwest of Pakistan, according to Reuters agency.

On Friday, a suicide bomber exploded himself near the venue of a meeting of voters on the eve of elections to the lower house of parliament. As a result, at least 85 people were killed and more than 150 were injured. There are fears that casualties might still go up, as the initial reports only suggested that 30 people were killed.

According to DawnNews, besides 85 people, prominent politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, as also killed in the deadly suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district on Friday afternoon.

Who is Nawabzada Siraj Raisani?

The younger brother of former Balochistan CM Nawab Aslam Raisani, Nawabzada Siraj had been chief of the Balochistan Muttahida Mahaz till June of 2018. He had recently merged his party with the newly-formed BAP. He was contesting elections against his own brother Nawab Aslam Raisani, who is contesting as an independent candidate. 

Key sources said the blast targeted a corner meeting organised by Nawabzada Siraj Raisan, a Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for PB-35 (Mastung). “Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to his wounds while he was being moved to Quetta.

Balochistan’s Civil Defence Director Aslam Tareen said the blast was a suicide attack. Tareen said eight to 10 kilogrammes of explosives and ball bearings were used in the bombings.

The deceased were taken to Civil Hospital in Quetta, Bolan Medical Complex and Combined Military Hospital. Over twenty-four bodies, however, were kept in Mastung. Civil Hospital Spokesperson said the hospital received 53 bodies and 73 wounded. At least 20 of those injured were in very critical condition.

Threat Looms Over Pakistan Elections

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, after the recent drone strikes on Afghanistan, the former leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah was killed. Now the Pakistan Taliban under a new leadership will be keen on intensifying terror operations. Just like any other new leadership in a militant organisation Noor Wali too would be keen to demonstrate his power. This was not an attack by the Pakistan Taliban, however, the authorities in Islamabad cannot ignore the threats from any terrorist organization, including Taliban. 

Recently, Pakistan hosted an unprecedented meeting of heads of spy agencies from Russia, China and Iran to discuss counter-terrorism cooperation, with a special focus on the buildup of ISIS in Afghanistan.

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