2018 Mastung and Bannu bombings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2018 Mastung and Bannu bombings
Part of War in North-West Pakistan
2018 Mastung and Bannu bombings is located in Pakistan
Mastung
Mastung
Bannu
Bannu
Location of incidents shown in the map of Pakistan
Location
Coordinates29°24′31″N 67°11′22″E / 29.4087°N 67.1894°E / 29.4087; 67.1894Coordinates: 29°24′31″N 67°11′22″E / 29.4087°N 67.1894°E / 29.4087; 67.1894
Date13 July 2018
TargetNawabzada Siraj Raisani (Mastung)
Akram Khan Durrani (Bannu)
Attack type
Suicide bombing, IED
WeaponsExplosive belt, IED
Deaths154 total
Mastung: 149
Bannu: 5
Non-fatal injuries
223 total
Mastung: 186
Bannu: 37
PerpetratorsMastung: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Bannu: Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen
AssailantsMastung: Abu Bakar al-Pakistani (as per ISIL)
Hafiz Nawaz (as per LEAs)
ParticipantMastung: 1 suicide bomber
MotiveDerailment of 2018 Pakistani general election

On 13 July 2018, ahead of the Pakistan's general election, two bombings took place at election rallies in Bannu and Mastung.

In Bannu, a remotely exploded bomb planted in a motorcycle left 5 people dead and 37 others wounded in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani. Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen, an extremist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Mastung, a suicide bomber blew himself up during a rally for the Balochistan Awami Party's Siraj Raisani, the brother of former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Raisani. One of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Pakistani history, it killed 149 people and wounded 186 others. Siraj was taken to hospital in critical condition and died of injuries. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the event and named the suicide bomber as Abu Bakar al-Pakistani, though authorities identified him as Hafeez Nawaz of Abbottabad.[1]

Background[edit]

Pre-election violence[edit]

The attacks came 12 days before general elections. In the beginning of the month, a bombing took place in Ramzak Tehsil of North Waziristan at the office of Malik Aurangjeb Khan, Pakistan Movement of Justice's candidate for NA-48 (Tribal Area-IX), leaving 10 people injured.[2] A week before the current attack in Bannu, a bomb planted in a motorcycle was remotely exploded at an election campaign of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal's PK–89 candidate Shein Malik in the Takhti Khel area of the city.[3] Two days prior to the attacks, a suicide bombing at an election rally of the Awami National Party's leader Haroon Bilour in Peshawar left 20 people, including Bilour, dead and wounded 63 others.[4] On 12 July, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP)'s office in Khuzdar came under gunfire before a bomb detonated injuring 2 people.[5]

ISIL in Pakistan[edit]

After the group's defeat in Iraq and Syria, many commanders of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fled to other countries where resistance was weak. Many fighters headed to Afghanistan where Al-Qaeda was fighting against the United States.[6] Since ISIL's entry intervention in Pakistan, Balochistan has been a focus of its militancy.[7] In 2016, ISIL claimed responsibility for two attacks in Quetta; one in August[8] and the other in October.[9] The following year, it perpetrated a suicide bombing at a shrine in Sehwan.[10] In Mastung that year, the group carried out a suicide bombing to assassinate Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.[11]

Prior intelligence[edit]

Soon after the Peshawar ambush, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) forwarded 12 threats to federal and provincial interior ministries, following which committee chairman Rahman Malik directed authorities to enhance security of politicians named by NACTA.[12] In its report, NACTA named six politicians that can be targeted. The list included Durrani. The other five politicians included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)'s chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party's head Aftab Sherpao and Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Saeed. It also suggested that members of PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were under threat.[13]

Prime targets[edit]

Mastung[edit]

Siraj Raisani was a prominent member of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and was to contest the next elections from PB-35. The brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Aslam Raisani, Siraj has served as chairman of Muttahida Mahaz Balochistan (MMB), founded by his father. He merged MMB into the BAP on 3 June 2018.[14] Earlier, in July 2011, Raisani had survived an assassination attempt after grenades were thrown at him. In the ambush, his son Hakmal Raisani was killed.[15]

Bannu[edit]

Akram Khan Durrani has served as chief minister of KPK from 2002 to 2007 and is contesting 2018 elections from NA-35 (Bannu) against Chairman of Pakistan Movement of Justice Imran Khan.[16][17] Leader of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Durrani was appointed as Minister for Housing & Works by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 29 August 2013.[18] The current attack follows two previous unsuccessful attempts to assassinate him, one in 2015 and another in 2007.[19]

Attacks[edit]

Mastung[edit]

Siraj Raisani was about to address an election rally when a suicide bomber, carrying around 16–20 kg of explosive material in his vest,[20] blew himself up among a crowd of more than 1000 people.[21] Along with Raisani, the explosion killed 128 people.[22] Two days after the attack, on 15 July 2018, the number of dead increased to 149, while 186 other people were injured, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Pakistan since the APS massacre in Peshawar in 2014.[23]

Bannu[edit]

Former KPK chief minister and Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) leader, Akram Khan Durrani was coming from an election rally. Due to death threats to Durrani, his security was increased and 40 policemen were deployed in his convoy. When the convoy came near Haved Bazaar, an IED, planted in a motorcycle, exploded near the tire of his vehicle. Durrani remained unhurt.[24] Having taken place 40 meters away from JUI (F)'s rally site, the explosion left 5 people dead and wounded 37 others.[25] There were conflicting views about the nature of the detonation. An eyewitness reported having watched a motorcycle rider blowing himself up, while officials said that the bomb was planted in a motorcycle. RPO Bannu called it a remotely exploded bomb.[26]

Aftermath[edit]

Rescue services[edit]

Before arrival of rescue teams, people took the injured to hospital via cabs.[27] The ambulances brought survivors to Quetta Civil hospital where a state of emergency was imposed by provincial government.[28] 73 bodies were first transported to the hospital. Later Shamim Akhtar, a hospital official, stated that they were treating 110 victims brought to them.[29] Secretary of Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) Zahid Ansari asked blood banks to provide 1000 blood bags for the victims of the Mastung blast. Ansari was approached by Balochistan Health Department, and urged citizens of Karachi to donate blood, following which mobile messages asking for blood donation started circulating in Karachi.[30] On 14 July 2018, Quetta civil hospital overflowed due to the excess of patients. Beds in the hospital fell short of need and many patients were treated in the corridor of hospital.[31]

Investigations and security measures[edit]

On the next day of attacks, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the Bannu bombing at the Haved police station. The FIR included charges of terrorism.[32] Caretaker Chief Minister of KPK, Dost Muhammad Khan, formed a seven-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Bannu bombing and apprehend the assailants. 86 teams of Frontier Constabulary containing 3338 security personnel were positioned across the province and another 500 officers from Azad Kashmir were summoned to be deployed in the region.[33]

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sought a briefing from NACTA over the Bannu bombing and also sought a report from the caretaker CM, IG and chief secretary of KPK over inadequate security of politicians. After Mastung incident, ECP ordered NACTA's coordinator to appear before it on the following day.[34] ECP declared 17,000 polling stations across the country as sensitive. These included 5,487 from Punjab, 5,878 from Sindh, 3,874 in KPK and 1,768 in Balochistan.[35]

Arrests[edit]

On next day of attack, security forces detained two suspects. According to security forces, the suicide bomber, who blew himself up in Mastung, came from Afghanistan two days prior to the attack and stayed in Chaghi. The apprehended duo is suspected to have sheltered the assailant inside their residence.[36] On 19 July, IG Balochistan Mohsin Hassan Butt said the suicide bomber named Hafiz Nawaz was resident of Abbottabad.[37] Nawaz had traveled from Abbottabad to Sindh and therein affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). According to Butt, efforts were underway to arrest Mufti Haider, a facilitator of Nawaz.[38]

Media coverage[edit]

On the day of attacks, former Pakistani Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz arrived in Lahore from Abu Dhabi. The duo's arrival was more in the crosshairs of the Pakistani media, hence it was covered in more detail than the bombings.[39] Initially only a few news channels gave it short coverage but later when the death toll exceeded 100, media started covering it broadly.[40] Many people took to Twitter and criticized the media for sidelining coverage of the bombings. Geo News's journalist Hamid Mir said if these attacks were carried out in Punjab, they would have received much more media coverage.[41]

Responsibility[edit]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the Mastung bombing.[42] Two days later, ISIL released picture of the suicide bomber and identified him as Abu Bakar al-Pakistani. In a series of statements released on its official news agency Amaq, the organization, referring to Raisani, stated that deceased included one of the Pakistani intelligence officers who was contesting elections.[43] A group called Ittehad-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the Bannu incident.[44]

Domestic reactions[edit]

Government[edit]

Caretaker Prime minister of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk condemned the attack and directed the interior ministry to issue a notification declaring Sunday, a day of mourning.[45] Accompanied by Chairman senate Sadiq Sanjrani and caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan Alauddin Marri, Mulk arrived in Quetta two days after the bombing and condoled the victims in hospital.[46] He also met with Raisani's family and expressed his grief.[47] Interim chief minister of Punjab, Hassan Askari condemned the attack and said that no religion asks for violence against innocent people and that the entire nation was united against terrorism.[48] Marri expressed his grief over loss of lives. Denouncing the massacre, he called it "a conspiracy to derail elections". He also vowed to beat terror by education.[49] The acting government of Balochistan announced two days of mourning in the province. The national flag was raised at half-mast throughout the province.[50] The caretaker chief minister of Sindh Fazalur Rehman condemned the attack and expressed sorrow over loss of lives.[51] Interim chief minister of KPK Dost Muhammad Khan prayed for injures and expressed sympathies for bereaved families. Denouncing the bombings, he vowed that perpetrators'd be dealt with iron hand.[52] KPK Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra denounced both the attacks and prayed for the victims.[53] On 16 July, the senate passed a unanimous resolution condemning the Mastung bombing and expressed grief over loss of lives.[54]

Politicians[edit]

Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Zardari denounced the attacks. He also said that these assaults shouldn't delay elections.[55] Former President Asif Ali Zardari condemned both attacks and expressed his "profound grief" over loss of lives.[56] Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan visited Quetta to express his grief. He criticized authorities for lack of implementation of National Action Plan.[57] In a tweet he said he wondered why terrorism rises in the country whenever Nawaz Sharif is in trouble.[58] President of Pakistan Muslim League (N) Shehbaz Sharif visited Quetta hospital and expressed his solidarity with victims' families.[59] In one of his statements, he said that India was involved in Mastung suicide blast.[60] Leader of Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Sherpao condemned the attacks and extended his sympathies with victims and asked the government for proper security.[61]

International reactions[edit]

Supranational[edit]

States[edit]

Notable victims[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mastung suicide bomber identified as Hafeez Nawaz from Abbottabad
  2. ^ Ali, Akbar (3 July 2018). "10 injured in blast at PTI candidate's election office in North Waziristan". Dawn. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  3. ^ "7 including MMA candidate injured in Bannu blast". Dawn. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  4. ^ "ANP's Haroon Bilour among 20 martyred in Peshawar suicide attack". The News International. 11 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  5. ^ Syed, Ali Shah (12 July 2018). "2 injured in blast near political party's office in Khuzdar". Dawn. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  6. ^ Patrick, Cockburn (1 January 2018). "Preview 2018: After a string of defeats in Iraq and Syria what 2018 means for Isis". The Independent. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  7. ^ "ISIS on rise in Pakistan: report". The Times of India. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Quetta in a daze after massacre". Dawn. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  9. ^ Saifi, Sophia; Shah, Syed Ali; Perry, Juliet. "Quetta attack survivor: 'We were sleeping when terrorists attacked'". CNN. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ Z, Ali; Hafeez, Tunio (16 February 2017). "Explosion inside Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan; at least 50 dead". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Pakistan bomb attack: Balochistan blast kills 25". BBC News. 12 May 2017. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Six Pakistani politicians under threat from terrorists". Economic Times. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Nacta names six politicians under threat from terrorists". Dawn. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Who was Nawab Siraj Raisani?". Geo News. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  15. ^ "CM's brother shrugs off threat despite son's death". Dawn. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Blast targets convoy of JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu, 4 killed". Dawn. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  17. ^ "JUI nominates Akram Durani for chief ministership". Dawn. 17 October 2002. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  18. ^ "JUI-F represented: Three new ministers take oath". The Express Tribune. tribune. 17 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Two killed in attack on minister's convoy". Dawn. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  20. ^ "70 including BAP candidate Siraj Raisani martyred in Mastung suicide blast". Geo. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Over 128 slain, more than 200 maimed: Massacre in Mastung, blast in Bannu". The News. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Mastung massacre: 128 martyred, over 200 injured in suicide blast claimed by Islamic State". The Express Tribune. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  23. ^ "With 149 martyred, Mastung is one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Pakistan's history". The Express Tribune. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Four killed as blast targets JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani's convoy in Bannu". Geo. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Bomb blast in Pakistan election rally; five killed, 37 injured- News Nation". News Nation. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Bomb attack near MMA candidate's convoy in Bannu, four killed". ARY News. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Bombs kill more than 130 after Pakistan election rallies targeted". SBS. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Death toll of suicide blast in SW Pakistan rises to 128". Xinhua. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Pakistan: Survivors blame security lapse for deadly Mastung blast". Al Jazeera. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Call to arrange blood for Mastung blast victims". The Nation. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Quetta hospital overflows with injured". Dawn. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Case registered against attack on JUI-F leader's convoy in Bannu". Geo. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  33. ^ "Four die as blast targets Durrani". The Express Tribune. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  34. ^ "ECP seeks NACTA briefing on poll violence". The Express Tribune. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  35. ^ "As election violence rises, ECP seeks answers from Nacta". Dawn. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  36. ^ "Security forces arrest two facilitators of Mastung suicide attack: sources". Geo News. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Mastung suicide bomber identified". The News International. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Mastung suicide bomber identified: IG Balochistan". Geo News. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  39. ^ Seema, Mustafa (14 July 2018). "The Big Elephant in Pakistan's Room". The Citizen (India). Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  40. ^ "Nawaz Vs Balochistan". The Express Tribune. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  41. ^ "Why did mainstream media ignore the Mastung bombing?". Cutacut. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Pakistan's Mastung blast: ISIS claims responsibility; death toll reaches 70". Zee News. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  43. ^ Jocelyn, Thomas (14 July 2018). "Islamic State claims suicide bombing at election rally in Pakistan". Long War Journal. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  44. ^ "Page 1, 14 July 2018 Roznama Mashriq - Peshawar". Daily Mashriq (in Urdu). Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  45. ^ "Nation mourns as death toll from Mastung blast rises to 131". Geo News. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  46. ^ "PM visits Mastung blast victims in Quetta". Daily times. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  47. ^ "PM Mulk condoles with Shaheed Siraj Raisani's family". ARY News. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  48. ^ "Politicians condemn attack on MMA candidate Akram Durrani's rally in Bannu". Geo News. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  49. ^ "Chief Minister Marri condemns 'cowardly attack'". The Express Tribune. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  50. ^ a b c d "Balochistan in mourning after Mastung suicide blast martyrs 128, including Raisani". Geo News. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  51. ^ "Sindh CM condemns blasts in Bannu, Mastung". Business Recorder. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  52. ^ "CM Dost Muhammad Khan condemns Bannu attack". Khyber news. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  53. ^ "KP Governor condemns Bannu, Mastung blasts". Business Recorder. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  54. ^ "Senate condemns Mastung suicide attack". ARY News. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  55. ^ "We oppose banned outfits contesting polls: Bilawal". The Express Tribune. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  56. ^ "Zardari condemns terror attacks in Mastung, Bannu". ARY News. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  57. ^ "In Quetta, Imran Khan laments failure to implement NAP". The News International. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  58. ^ "Imran Khan taunts Nawaz Sharif over his 'friendship with Modi'". Hindustan Times. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  59. ^ "Shahbaz in Quetta to express solidarity with Mastung blast victims". Khyber News. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  60. ^ "India is involved in Mastung blast: Shehbaz". Dunya News. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018. Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Saturday, he said that there was no doubt about India's involvement in Mastung blast, adding that New Delhi has always tried to incite violence in Pakistan by fanning terrorism.
  61. ^ "Political instability to harm democratic process: Sherpao". Dawn. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  62. ^ "OIC condemns deadly Mastung attack, extends solidarity with Pakistan". TNS. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  63. ^ a b "Berlin lends support to Islamabad in war on terror after Mastung carnage". The Express Tribune. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  64. ^ "Afghan president calls army chief, condoles loss of lives in terror attacks". The Express Tribune. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  65. ^ "Ditmir Bushati on Twitter". 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  66. ^ "Australian HC condemns KPK, Balochistan attacks". The Nation. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  67. ^ "China condemns Mastung attack". The News International. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  68. ^ "Egypt condemns major terror attack on election rally in southwestern Pakistan". Al-Ahram. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  69. ^ "Martin Kobler on Twitter". Twitter. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  70. ^ "Manfred Weber on Twitter". Twitter. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  71. ^ "India condemns terror attacks in Pakistan". Econonic Times. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  72. ^ "Geelani, Mirwaiz condemn attack on election rally in Pakistan". Kashmir Reader. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  73. ^ "Iran Condemns Fatal Attack on Pakistan Political Rally". Tasnim News Agency. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  74. ^ "World condemns Mastung terrorist attack". Pakistan Observer. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  75. ^ "Mexico condemns terrorist attack in Pakistan". The Express Tribnue. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  76. ^ "Qatar condemns Mastung blast". The News International. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  77. ^ "US, Saudi Arabia deplore suicide attacks on political candidates in Pakistan". Dunya News. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  78. ^ "Turkey condemns Daesh suicide bombing at election rally in Pakistan". Daily Sabah. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  79. ^ "Pavlo Klimkin on Twitter". Twitter. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  80. ^ "UAE condemns deadly suicide bombing at Pakistan's election rally". Global Times. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.