On Sunday, a tragic act of violence occurred in Khar, Bajaur district, near the Afghanistan border, when a suicide bomber targeted a political event hosted by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). At least 44 people were killed, and more than 100 were injured, 17 of whom are in critical condition. Though no one has taken responsibility for the attack yet, the local ISIS branch has a history of targeting this party’s leaders and viewing them as apostates.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, released a statement condemning the bombing. An investigation has begun to look into the attack. Rahim Shah, an attendee at the event, reported to Al Jazeera that over 500 people were present when the explosion occurred; he was knocked out cold by the blast and described a scene of mayhem and terror when he awoke, with people screaming and shots ringing out.
The attack comes as Pakistani political parties are preparing for elections to take place later this year. This incident demonstrates the unstable security situation in the country, particularly in areas close to the Afghanistan border.
The bombing is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism in Pakistan, particularly in regions near the Afghanistan border. The incident underscores the need for increased security measures, particularly as the country prepares for upcoming elections.