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A bombing at a political rally in Pakistan has killed at least 35 people

By: Johnn Jin

A bomb ripped through a rally on Sunday in northwestern Bajur District, Pakistan, a former tribal area on the border with Afghanistan. The bomb killed at least 35 people and injured over 135. The religious political party Jamiat Ulema Islam, run by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, had organized a workers’ convention in the town of Khar, headquarters of the Bajur District, where the explosion took place, according to Nazir Khan, a senior police officer.

While Khan said earlier there was “no information about the nature of the blast,” Jalil Jan, a spokesperson for the political party, said it was a suicide attack. Originally it appeared that there were 10 people killed, but later 25 more bodies were found, bringing the death toll up to 35.

The local chief of Rehman’s political party, Maulana Ziaullah, is among those killed. Senator Abdur Rasheed and former lawmaker Maulana Jamaluddin were also on the stage but escaped unhurt. Party officials said Rehman was not at the rally.

The head of the emergency room at Khar’s main hospital, Azam Khan, said that over 100 wounded people have been brought ther. Mohibullah Khan Yousufzai, a government administrator, said seriously wounded people would take an aircraft to Peshawar for better medical care.

A statement from Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said officials "condemn" the blast. "The Islamic Emirate expresses deep condolences to the affected families," the statement said, adding that officials pray for the "martyrs" to go to Islamic heaven and "for the speedy recovery of the injured."

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