At least 47 die in bomb attack in Pakistan


At least 47 people were killed and more than 100 injured during a suicide bombing at a political gathering in Pakistan on Sunday.

Members of the Islamic Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) party attended the event in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“It was a terrible scene,” Fazal Aman (29), a resident of Khar, told AFP on Monday. “There were bodies everywhere and people were calling for help.”

Decor, including hats and scarves in JUI-F’s black-and-white colours, is scattered across the scene where people have left it.

The first burials took place on Monday, including two cousins, aged 16 and 17 respectively.

“These two were very serious and down-to-earth individuals in our family,” said 24-year-old shopkeeper Najeeb Ullah. “It is an absolute injustice.”

Gulistan Khan, a 40-year-old farmer receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, said he was in the third row when the bomb went off just as local JUI-F leaders arrived. “It was a powerful explosion. I was thrown backwards as if I had been picked up from the ground. There were flames everywhere, I couldn’t see anything.”

Investigators are still at the scene on Monday to collect all evidence.

Armed security forces surrounded the scene and surrounding roads were blocked with police roadblocks.

Sohail Khalid, inspector general for counter-terrorism in the region, told AFP the attacker used about 40kg of explosives. Ball bearings were also used to cause maximum damage.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the local branch of the Islamic State has recently started targeting JUI-F, a key coalition partner in the government.