A bomb blast at a PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) rally in Balochistan’s Sibi on Tuesday resulted in at least four people being killed and five others wounded, as reported by police and health officials. The incident occurred just nine days before the scheduled general elections on February 8.
The medical superintendent of the District Headquarters Hospital in Sibi confirmed the casualties and injuries. According to Sibi Station House Officer Zakaullah Gujjar, the injured individuals were being transferred to the Civil Hospital, with several in critical condition. Security forces promptly arrived at the scene, cordoning off the area. A bomb disposal squad is collecting evidence from the site.
The blast occurred at an election rally organized by PTI-backed candidate Saddam Tareen, who is contesting from the NA-253 (Ziarat) constituency. The PTI reported three party workers killed and seven injured, with Tareen remaining unharmed.
Balochistan Health Secretary Abdullah Khan Noorzai declared an emergency at hospitals in Quetta and Sibi. Hospitals were instructed to provide the best healthcare facilities, increase security, and gather necessary medical resources.
The Election Commission of Pakistan took notice of the incident and summoned a report from Balochistan’s chief secretary and police chief.
This incident follows an uptick in terror activities in Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The country witnessed 1,524 violence-related fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023, marking a six-year high, according to a security report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were the primary centers of violence, accounting for over 90% of all fatalities and 84% of attacks.