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‘Mastung suicide bomber identified’, IG Balochistan informs Senate body

ISLAMABAD: A week after deadly Mastung suicide blast that claimed nearly 150 lives, a top cop of the province today revealed that the suicide bomber behind the terror attack has been identified.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee proceedings this noon, Balochistan Police Inspector General Mohsin Butt informed the body that bomber was  identified as Hafiz Nawaz, a resident of Abbottabad.

He explained that attacker was part of banned Lashkhar-e-Jhangvi, a group affiliated with the Islamic State, commonly known as Daesh. The IS had later claimed responsibility for the deadly assault.

A senior politician and key figure from Balochistan Awami Party, Siraj Raisani, had also lost his life in the attack. Raisani was the younger brother of former chief minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani.

Raisani was the second electoral candidate to be killed in pre-election violence last week.

BAP leader Siraj Raisani among 128 killed in Mastung bomb attack

As campaigning steps up for general elections on July 25, bombings across Pakistan have stoked fears of more violence in the country of 208 million, where political rallies can draw tens of thousands of people.

A video clip showed Raisani beginning his speech just before the attack, greeting crowds seated on the ground under a large tent before the blast hit and the image cut off.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had later summoned Chief of National Coordination Counter-Terrorism Authority on July 14 to brief it on security threats to leaders of political parties.

In a letter written to NACTA, the commission said it should be briefed about the security arrangements for political parties and overall security situation in the country.

Until this week, Pakistan’s election campaign had been relatively peaceful, compared with frequent Pakistani Taliban attacks during the 2013 election, when 170 people were killed, figures from the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies show.

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