Islamist political party leader killed in Pakistan bomb blast
Seven people were killed and several others were wounded on Friday when a powerful roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle carrying a local leader of an Islamist political party in Pakistan
It was unclear who was behind the attack in Chaman, a town in the southwestern Baluchistan province.
Local police chief Abdul Bashir said the attack took place when 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.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack and police said they were still investigating.
Hours later, thousands of Islamists and members of civil society groups rallied in the capital, Islamabad, in support of Palestinians.
Similar anti-Israel rallies were also held in other main cities across Pakistan, which is among few countries with no diplomatic ties with Israel.
The bombing came hours after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas- militant group that rules Gaza. Pakistan wants a peaceful resolution of the Palestine issue.
Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province and security forces in Baluchistan have been battling an insurgency for more than a decade.
Baluch separatists are demanding complete autonomy or a massive share to locals from the province’s gas and mineral resources.
Pakistani Taliban and other militants also have a presence in the area.