7 killed, 13 injured as bomb explodes during pro-Palestine rally in Pakistan

·2-min read

Islamabad, May 21 (PTI) At least seven people were killed and 13 others injured when a bomb exploded during a pro-Palestine rally in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province on Friday, officials said.

The rally was taken out to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, which over the last 11 days has been involved in a tense confrontation with Israel that has led to the death of over 240 people, and threatened to destabilise the volatile Mideast.

Balochistan Government Spokesman Liaquat Shahwani said the rally was passing through Murghi Bazar area of Chaman town when the bomb went off.

'Six people have been killed and 14 injured in the attack,' Shahwani said in the first official update on the attack.

Later, officials updated the toll to seven, as they said three persons continue to be critical.

The dead and 10 of the injured were shifted to local hospitals, while the rest of the injured were rushed to provincial capital Quetta. The blast site has been sealed by security forces.

News channels showed images of glass shards, blood stains and debris, as policemen cordoned off the area.

The rally was organised by political outfit Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Nazaryati (JUI-N). Party leaders Abdul Qadir Luni and Qari Mehrullah were leading the rally and are said to be safe, though Luni sustained some injuries.

'The enemies of solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians are on the side of Israeli aggression,' Shahwani said.

Preliminary reports suggest an improvised explosive device was planted near the vehicle of a religious leader, which was triggered when the rally was about to end.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan condemned the attack.

'Terrorist elements do not deserve any leniency. No one will be allowed to disturb the law and order of the province,” he said.

No outfit has taken responsibility for the attack. However, Baloch nationalists and Taliban insurgents are active in the area and often carry out such attacks.

The incident comes a month after a bomb exploded in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in provincial capital Quetta, killing at least five people and wounding 12 others.

The Chinese ambassador was staying at the hotel at the time of the attack, but was away on a visit. PTI SH IND AKJ IND

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting