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25 April 2024

Pakistan suicide blast kills 37: interior ministry

By Agencies
The death toll of a suicide blast at an election rally in Pakistan's troubled tribal belt earlier on Saturday rose to 37 people, ministry officials said.
"The death toll is now 37," interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said after the attack in the northwestern tribal town of Parachinar, bordering Afghanistan.
"It's a very severe emergency, a lot of the wounded are in a critical condition," a doctor at the main hospital in Parachinar told AFP earlier, adding that at least 93 people were wounded.

Security officials earlier told AFP that the suicide bomber attacked a Pakistan People's Party meeting outside the office of a local election candidate. The candidate's family said he was safe.

One witness said a man in a car drove up to a meeting and the vehicle then exploded. Officials could not immediately confirm the account.
The attack in Parachinar heightened fears for the security of general elections being held in two days' time.

Former premier Bhutto was killed by a suicide and gun attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on December 27, sparking mass riots and forcing the postponement of elections by six weeks.

Pakistan has been hit by further suicide bombings and bomb blasts in the run-up to the elections due on Monday. (AFP)