At least 85 people, including an election candidate, were killed and over 150 were injured in a blast at a rally in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Friday afternoon,
Dawn reported, quoting provincial Health Minister Faiz Kakar. The attack took place in the town of Mastung, days before the general elections in the country on July 25.

Balochistan Awami Party candidate Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was scheduled to contest the election against his brother, died in the blast. Unidentified officials said the blast targeted his corner meeting.

Deputy Commissioner Qaim Lashari told Geo News that the injured were shifted to nearby hospitals. The administration in Balochistan’s Quetta city has declared an emergency at all hospitals, and additional medical staff have been summoned.

Initial investigation suggested it was a suicide attack, Lashari added.

The Balochistan Awami Party was created in March after the removal of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) coalition government in Balochistan, Dawn reported.

Earlier on Friday, four people were killed and 32 people were injured in an explosion in the district of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Former Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani’s convoy was targeted, Dawn reported. On July 10, a suicide bomb blast killed Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour and 19 people in Peshawar’s Yaktoot area. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.