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A Powerful Bomb Unleashes on Political Rally, Killing 35

By: Jason Shen

Pakistan police and health officials have said that in Khar, Pakistan, a bomb ripped through a rally by supporters of a hardline cleric and political leader in the country's northwestern Bajur district that borders Afghanistan on July 30, 2023. At least 35 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded.

Nazir Khan, aSenior police officer, said the workers’ convention of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema Islam party was taking place on the outskirts of Khar, the capital of the Bajur District, when the explosion took place.

Initially police said that there had been a total of 10 deaths but after there were more bodies brought in the number has sadly risen to 35. There were also at least 100 wounded men, the most serious of which have been airlifted to the provincial capital, Peshawar, for better medical care. Azam Khan, head of the emergency room at Khar’s main hospital, said that the 35 dead bodies were brought to the hospital and some were taken back by relatives.

No one but the Islamic State group operating across the border in Afghanistan claimed responsibility immediately. Maulana Ziaullah, the local chief of Rehman's party, was among the dead. 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. Rehman is considered to be a pro-Taliban cleric and his political party is part of the coalition government in Islamabad.

Meetings are being organized across the country to mobilize supporters for the upcoming elections. Bajur once used to be a tribal region but now is a district and has been a safe haven for Islamic militants until recent years when Pakistani military carried out massive operations to eliminate militancy from the tribal region. Militants still attack security forces and civilians often.

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