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70 killed in attack at election rally in Pakistan's Quetta

14 July 2018

Sharif and his daughter are expected to be transported to the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where both will serve their jail term if they don't seek bail.

He said at least 32 were wounded in the bombing in Mastung town, near the Balochistan capital of Quetta.

Raisani is the brother of former chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani.

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was campaigning for an assembly seat in the southern province of Balochistan, was killed in the bomb blast along with dozens of others, Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh told CNN.

Uniformed men escorted the Sharifs, who were sentenced in absentia on corruption charges last week, from their airplane after it touched down in the central city of Lahore at around 8:45 p.m. (1645 GMT), a Reuters reporter on board said.

A victim of a bomb blast is brought to a hospital in Quetta on July 13, 2018 following an attack at an election rally.

Sharif and Maryam were earlier this month sentenced to 10 years and seven years in prison, respectively, over the purchase of upscale London flats.

Bilour was part of the predominantly secular, ethnic Pashtun nationalist Awami National Party, which has long competed with religious parties for votes in Pakistan's volatile Pashtun lands, along the border with Afghanistan.

Barbed wire was strung across some roads leading to the Lahore airport on Friday and barricades were positioned at the roadside ready to close off main boulevards should crowds start to gather.

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Today's attack is the deadliest terror strike in Pakistan since the brazen terror assault on an Army school in Peshawar in December 2014 in which about 150 people, mostly students, were killed.

At least 128 people, including Raisani, were killed in the deadly blast, police officials said.

The bombing was the biggest attack in Pakistan in over a year.

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Pakistani and global rights groups have accused the military of seeking to maintain its influence in Pakistani politics by keeping Sharif out of power. The military denied the accusations saying their assistance in carrying out the elections was requested by Pakistan's Election Commission.

The first bomb killed four people when it exploded in the north-west, near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party who is running for parliament from the town of Bannu.

Durrani, who is contesting in July 25 elections against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, announced that he will continue campaign despite threats.

The second explosion was in southwestern Baluchistan province, that killed 65 people and critically wounded the candidate.

Police had earlier said that the attack targeted Raisani's convoy but later changed their statement as video footage of a large tent showing damage from the blast was circulated.

"Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Akram Durrani and his convoy", Imran Khan tweeted after the attack.

70 killed in attack at election rally in Pakistan's Quetta