KABUL – A suicide bombing at a pro-Taliban election rally in Pakistan on Sunday has been claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group’s affiliate. The attack, which took place during a parliamentary fall election gathering, resulted in the death of at least 54 people, including five children, and left nearly 200 others injured.
The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) issued a statement online stating that the attacker detonated an explosive inside a large tent where approximately 1,000 people had gathered to hear from a candidate.
According to a local resident named Khan Mohammad, the atmosphere at the rally was filled with chants of “God is Great” as the leaders arrived, but the joyous moment quickly turned into horror with the deafening sound of the bomb blast.
Though no immediate claims of responsibility were made, the police’s preliminary investigation points towards the ISKP as the likely perpetrator. The victims of the attack were laid to rest in Bajur on Monday.
The region has a long-standing history of Islamic terrorist groups’ presence, but the ISKP, based in neighboring Afghanistan, stands as a rival to both the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda.