Pakistan: ISIS Suicide Attack Kills Dozens, Including Five Children

Pakistan: ISIS Suicide Attack Kills Dozens, Including Five Children

August 1, 2023

A suspected Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombing on Sunday killed at least 46 people and injured over 150 at an Islamist political event near the Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan, believed to have been attended by hundreds of people, according to Breitbart News.

The event was a convention for the Islamist political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan Fazl (JUI-F), an Islamist party local outlets described as “hardline” whose name roughly translates to the “Assembly of Islamic Clerics.” Police told reporters on Monday that, while no individual or group has taken responsibility for the bombing, the prime suspect is the Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot, Khorasan Province (ISIS-K).

Analysts speculated that ISIS-K targeted the JUI-F because it participates in Pakistani elections, is relatively popular in the Afghan border area of Pakistan, and poses a challenge to ISIS-K’s attempts to recruit members.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported on Monday that authorities had documented 46 people dying from injuries related to what police are now confident was a suicide bombing at the JUI-F convention in the Bajaur district of KP.

“According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of party workers along with local leaders were present at the gathering when the blast occurred,” Dawn narrated. “The bomb went off when a party leader was addressing the convention. JUI-F officials told Dawn that the party’s Khar General Secretary Ziaullah, JUI-F District Press Secretary Mujahid Khan and his son were among the dead.”

Dawn reported that five children were among those confirmed dead in the event.

The Pakistan Express Tribune quoted a local police official who said they had not identified the suicide bomber by name, but believed the man was sitting in the front rows before the stage where JUI-F officials were speaking. Officials believe about ten kilograms (22 pounds) of explosives were used in the attack.

Following Sunday’s initial reports, the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted local officials has concluding that ISIS-K was the likely culprit behind the attack.

“We are still investigating and gathering information on the Bajaur blast. The Initial probe shows that banned outfit Daesh (ISIS) was involved,” an unnamed police officer reportedly told the Pakistani outlet Geo News. Dawn similarly reported that its police sources believed the Islamic State had orchestrated the attack.

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