PESHAWAR/KARACHI: At least 128 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and more than 180 others injured on Friday as powerful bomb blasts targeted two separate election rallies in Pakistan, the deadliest in a string of attacks on candidates ahead of the July 25 polls.

Terrorists targeted a gathering of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Siraj Raisani in Mastung area of Balochistan province.

“Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to ,” District Police Officer Mohammad Ayub Achakzai said.

Disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan from London to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges, anti-corruption officials said.

Raisani is the brother of former Chief Minister of Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani.

The nature of the attack was not known and police and intelligence agencies were trying of figure out if it was a suicide bombing.

An accountability court in Pakistan on Friday sentenced ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to ten years in prison in a corruption case. His daughter Maryam Nawaz Shairf was given a sentence of seven years. The court also imposed a fine of £8 million and £2 million on Sharif and his daughter, respectively.

At least 85 people, including Raisani, were killed and more than 150 injured in a deadly blast, Dawn newspaper quoted Balochistan‘s caretaker health minister Faiz Kakar as saying.

“Initially the death toll was not high but many critically injured persons including Siraj Raisani passed away in hospitals,” Kakar said.

Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast. They said that around 16-20 kilogram of explosives were used in the attack.
<br

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.