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Suicide attack targeting election campaign in Pakistan’s Mastung district leaves 149 dead

On Friday, July 13th 2018, a suicide bomber targeted an election campaign event for the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) in Drigarh, a town in Mastung district of Balochistan. The attack killed at least 149 and injured 189, with some still in a serious condition.

The BAP leader, Siraj Raisani, was killed in the blast. The attack was the latest in a series of blasts targeting rallies and campaigns ahead of Pakistan’s elections later this month.

Only days earlier, on Tuesday, July 10th 2018, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives during a rally by an anti-Taliban political party in Peshawar, Pakistan, leaving at least 20 killed and 65 injured.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been monitoring explosive violence harm across the globe since October 2010.

In Pakistan in 2017 the number of civilian casualties from explosive weapons increased by 51% compared to the previous year. Of those casualties, 58% were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 49% were caused by incidents involving suicide bombers.

AOAV condemns the attack in Pakistan and calls for states and international organisations to work collaboratively to generate greater awareness of the number of civilians killed and injured each year by IEDs, and encourage a greater stigma from political, religious and social leaders on the use of IEDs. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.