Roadside bomb blast in Pakistan targeting Islamist leader at anti-Israel rally, six dead

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At least six people were killed and several others were injured on May 21 when a powerful roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying a local leader of an Islamist political party in Pakistan.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Chaman, a town in southwest Balochistan province, and police said they were still investigating.

The attack came as Abdul Qadir, a local leader of a faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, was on his way to attend a rally in support of the Palestinian people amid the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza local police chief Abdul said Bashir.

Kala Abdullah District Deputy Commissioner Javed Mangal told Radio Mashaal that five other people were injured in the blast. Other officials estimate the number of injured at 14.

Balochistan’s security forces have battled an insurgency for more than a decade. The Baloch separatists demand full autonomy or a greater share of the province’s gas and mineral resources for the local population.

The Pakistani Taliban and other activists are also present in the region.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, thousands of people gathered in support of the Palestinians on May 21, after religious parties and the government called for protests across the country.

In Islamabad, a group of lawmakers organized a rally in front of parliament. They were joined by a large number of people and activists from the Pakistani ruling party Tehrik-e-Insaaf.

In addition, a protest rally was also held in front of the Islamabad press club.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam has called for a protest rally to be addressed by party leader Maulana Fazlur Rahman.

RFE / RL correspondents report that prior to the rally, the main road to Peshawar town was closed by authorities.

Pakistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

With reports from AP, AFP and dpa


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