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Suicide blast targets JI Emir Sirajul Haq's convoy in Balochistan's Zhob

Party official says JI Emir Sirajul Haq remains unharmed

By Salman Ashraf
May 19, 2023

ZHOB: A suicide blast occurred close to Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Sirajul Haq's convoy Friday as he was travelling to address a rally in Balochistan's Zhob, injuring seven people, officials confirmed.

The party's general secretary Ameer ul Azeem said the emir was not harmed in the attack. 

The JI said on its official Twitter account that it was a suicide attack, adding that the attacker had been killed.

In a separate tweet, the party said that seven workers were injured, of which four were critical.

Haq would address the rally as per schedule, the JI added.

Footage showed smoke rising close to the vehicle in which the JI chief was purportedly travelling. As the smoke cleared, a dead body, allegedly that of the attacker could be seen.

Journalist Saleem Safi said he spoke to the JI chief, who told him that all the people along with him in the vehicle are safe. However, seven workers who were accompanying the leaders were injured.

Meanwhile, JI spokesperson Qaiser Sharif said a few vehicles had also been damaged. 

The party chief had reached Quetta earlier today, he said, adding that a large number of people had gathered to welcome Haq as he entered Zhob. "The suicide attacker was also part of the crowd."

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and directed the Balochistan government to investigate the attack from all angles and bring the perpetrators to justice.

He also prayed for the complete and quick recovery of the injured.

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo also condemned the attack and expressed grief over the injuries.

"Terrorists want to achieve their evil goals by spreading unrest. We will not allow terrorist elements and their handlers to succeed in their impure objectives," he asserted. 

The latest attack on a political personality comes as the nation witnesses a rise in terrorism, with security forces ramping up operations to defeat militants.