Pakistan observed a day of mourning for the dozens of people killed and injured during a series of terror attacks targeting political rallies as the country gears up for the July 25 national elections. Officials on July 15 said that more than 160 people were killed, including political candidates, and at least 230 wounded in three separate election-related bombings over the past week in and around the cities of Peshawar, Mastung, and Bannu. The attacks only served to ratchet up political tensions in the country ahead of the upcoming vote. Adding to the strains was the arrest of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned from London to face corruption charges. Officials said the deadliest of three attacks came on July 13, when at least 140 were killed by a suicide bomber at a political rally in the Mastung district of Balochistan Province.
Among the dead was Siraj Raisani, a candidate planning to run in the general election.
Hours earlier, five people were killed in the northwest city of Bannu when a bomb exploded at a political rally.
The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.