By Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, (Xinhua): At least 118 people were killed and 377 others got injured in 29 bomb blasts as the militants raised the number of attacks at the political rallies and offices of parties across Pakistan during the month of April, according to official statistics.
Out of the 29 bomb attacks, six were of suicide nature that ripped through different areas of Pakistan, targeting different targets, killed 48 persons and injured 162 others.
After the Pakistani government announced the schedule for the general elections on May 11, the banned militant outfit Tehrik-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) warned the public to keep themselves away from the political gatherings of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), ANP and MQM, the allies of Pakistan’s previous government.
During the month of April, at least 14 political rallies, gatherings and offices of different political parties came under bomb attacks that killed 62 people and injured 233 others.
The worst one of these attacks took place on April 16 when a suicide bomber targeted two political leaders of Awami National Party (ANP) during a rally for election campaign in the country’s northwestern metropolitan of Peshawar. Both the leaders remained unhurt in the explosion that killed 18 others including four policemen while injuring 49 others.
Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the worst hit province with 12 attacks followed by six blasts each in Sindh and Balochsitan but the country’s most populated eastern province of Punjab, which contains 60 percent of the country’s population, remained unhurt as there was no incident of terrorism occurred during the specific period.
Official statistics revealed that the terrorists carried out 29 bomb attacks at 29 targets during April, killing 88 civilians as well as 26 personnel from security forces and four policemen.
The Pakistani Army’s 20 servicemen, four persons of Ranger and four policemen lost their lives while two members of Frontier Constabulary were killed in the attacks.
Militants conducted six direct attacks on security forces during the month. The worst one of them occurred on April 16 when a suicide bomber targeted a convoy of Pakistan army in the northwestern restive tribal region of North Waziristan, killing nine soldiers besides injuring eight others.
One incident that raised many concerns for security forces and intelligence agencies of the country was the female suicide attack at a hospital in the northwestern tribal region of Bajaur Agency that killed four besides injuring the same number of persons.
The majority of the bomb blasts were conducted with improvised explosive device (IED) by planting it on roadsides or fixing it in cars and motorcycles.
Most of the attacks were claimed by the TTP who recently once again threatened to speed up their attacks at the security personnel, police and public rallies of the political parties, preparing for the country’s general elections to be held on May 11.
Pakistan’s local media Thursday, quoting some officials of secret agencies, feared that militants might start another wave of bomb attack at the political parties as the country is one week away from its general elections to elect the new government.
Editor: Yang Yi