Report: At Least 40 Dead, 100 Injured In Explosion At Political Rally In Allied Nation

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Matthew Xiao Contributor
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A devastating bomb detonated Sunday at an Islamist political rally in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 40 people and injuring over 100, according to AP News. 

The blast, reportedly captured on video, occurred during a gathering organized by the Jamiat Ulema Islam party (JUI) in the town of Khar, located near the Afghanistan border, the outlet reported.

“There was all dust and smoke around and I was under some injured people from where I could hardly stand up, only to see chaos and some scattered limbs,” one witness said.

A suicide bomber may have managed to infiltrate the venue, local police chief Akhtar Hayat Gandapur revealed, per AP News. (RELATED: Suicide Bombing At Mosque Kills At Least 100, Injures More Than 170)

While no group immediately claimed responsibility, suspicions are directed towards the regional branch of ISIS operating in neighboring Afghanistan that had previously targeted party leaders. 

JUI regional chief described the attack as an attempt to undermine the JUI party ahead of the November parliamentary elections. But he emphasized that such tactics will not succeed in derailing the party’s efforts, AP News noted. 

The explosion reportedly claimed the life of JUI’s local chief Maulana Ziaullah and injured several others, including Senator Abdur Rasheed and former lawmaker Maulana Jamaluddin. 

The leader of the JUI party, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, expressed “deep sorrow and regret,” adding that “Peace be upon JUI workers. The federal and provincial government should provide the best treatment to the injured,” according to CNN.