At least six people were killed and several others injured in a bomb blast at a pro-Palestine rally in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Friday, officials said.
The blast occurred at a busy street in Chaman district, which borders neighboring Afghanistan, Liaquat Shahwani, a spokesman for the Balochistan government, told Anadolu Agency.
The blast occurred near the vehicle of Abdul Qadir Loni, the provincial head of the country’s mainstream religious party, Jamiat Ulema Islam, who was leading the rally. Loni also suffered minor injuries.
The bomb was planted in a motorbike parked along the route of the rally, Shahwani said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Footage aired on television channels showed damaged vehicles, shards of glass and blood-soaked shoes and caps scattered around the site.
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Pakistan is observing Palestine solidarity day in support of Palestinians. Officials and activists have organized rallies and demonstrations since Israel’s latest escalation on Gaza, which killed at least 243 Palestinians, including women and children. A cease-fire was reached late Thursday.
Big rallies across country
Meanwhile, big rallies were also held in the capital Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, Hyderabad and other cities on the call of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan’s main religiopolitical party.
In Islamabad, thousands of people rallied at the capital’s famous D-Chowk roundabout, less than a mile away from the Parliament House, to express solidarity with Palestinians.
Carrying Palestinian flags, banners and posters with pictures of children, wounded people and destroyed buildings, the protesters chanted anti-Israel slogans.
Addressing the rally, JI chief Sirajul Haq strongly condemned the Israel airstrikes in Gaza and Al-Aqsa, saying Israel is committed “terrorism and war crimes” by killing over 250 innocent people, most of them women and children.
He added today millions of Pakistanis came out on roads in over 200 small and big cities across the country to show solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters.
Haq also announced holding a “million march” in Karachi on May 23 and northwestern Peshawar on May 30, to show solidarity with Palestinian people.
“We are in contact with all Islamic movements around the world and will never leave the Palestinians alone,” Haq said.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk