By: Alyssa Hong
The death toll from a massive suicide bombing that targeted a pro-Taliban cleric's election rally grew to 54, as Pakistan held funerals and the authorities swore to find those responsible for the attack
Despite the bombing on Sunday leaving up to 200 people injured, no one quickly claimed credit for the attack. The regional affiliate of the Islamic State group may be to blame, according to the police's early investigation.
The gathering was for a Jamiat Ulema Islam party event led by politician and hard-line cleric Fazlur Rehman. He stayed away from the protest, which was held in Bajur, a district in the Afghan-bordering province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, inside a sizable tent adjacent to a market. Rehman, who has long backed the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, managed to escape at least two known blasts that damaged his automobile at rallies in 2011 and 2014.
On Monday, the bombing victims were laid to rest in Bajur. Dozens of patients with lesser injuries were released from the hospital as condolences poured in from all over the nation. The critically injured were flown by army helicopters to Peshawar, the provincial capital. According to doctor Gul Naseeb, the death toll kept rising as critically injured patients passed away at the hospital. Police took testimony from some of the injured on Monday at a hospital in Khar, the biggest town in Bajur.
The provincial minister of information, Feroz Jamal, stated that police were "investigating this attack in all aspects." At least a thousand individuals congregated under a big tent on Sunday as their party was ready for the upcoming elections, which are scheduled for sometime in October or November.