128 people killed in Pakistan election rally bombing

Shahbaz Sharif brother of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who now heads the Pakistan Muslim League addresses a news conference in Lahore Pakistan Thursday

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on Friday after flying back to the country to face lengthy prison sentences, in a high-stakes gamble to galvanize their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 election.

Earlier in the day, at least four people were killed and 16 injured in a bomb attack on a campaign motorcade of a political party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northwestern Pakistan, hospital and administration officials said.

Earlier, RPO Karim Khan informed Geo News that the explosion took place 50 metres away from the site of a Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rally in Haved locality, adding that 40 policemen were deployed at the venue for security duties.

Brother of Siraj Raisani, Lashkar Raisani have also confirmed the explosion killed Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat PB-35 with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). This was the first major incident of violence ahead of the elections in Pakistan.

Among those killed in Friday's attack was Baluchistan provincial assembly candidate Siraj Raisani, whose brother Nawab Aslam Raisani had served as the provincial chief minister from 2008 to 2013.

The incident took place in Bannu area of the province targeting the vehicle of the former chief minister and Jamiat Ulema Islam Fazal candidate Akram Khan Durrani.

"What else this government is doing except arresting political workers and leaders", the PML-N leader added.

"The death toll has now risen to 25", Agha Umar Bungalzai, the provincial home minister.

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The Islamic State group has a muted presence in Pakistan but has carried out brutal attacks there in the past, including the blast at a Sufi shrine in February a year ago which killed almost 90 people.

Siraj's teenage son, Akmal Raisani, had also been killed in an attack during a football match in the same district in 2011.

According to reports, at least nineteen people including Mr. Bilour were killed in the attack.

The attack comes days after Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour was assassinated in a suicide attack at a corner meeting that killed 19 others and injured over 60 people on June 10.

But security across the country has dramatically improved since government and military operations cleared large swathes of territory near the Afghan border in recent years.

Analysts warn, however, that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of extremism, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks.

In a tweet, he said there seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the vote. Other local authorities confirmed the attack.

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