PESHAWAR: The death toll from a suicide bombing in northwest Pakistan has risen to at least 54, officials said on Monday, while at least 90 other people were injured in the attack.
Hundreds of supporters of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl religious party were gathered on Sunday in Bajaur district, near the border with Afghanistan, when the bomb went off.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but police said initial investigations suggested that a regional affiliate of Daesh could have been behind the attack.
“Fifty-four were killed in the suicide blast in Bajaur,” Shaukat Abbas, additional inspector general of the Counter Terrorism Department, told reporters on Monday.
“Approximately 10 to 12 kilograms of explosives were used in the suicide bomb blast. We are working on the identification of the suicide bomber and the identity will be revealed soon after forensics.”
He added: “We have got an idea of the organization and those who operated the attack.”
Muhammad Israr, a spokesperson for Bajaur police, said at least 90 people were injured in the explosion.
The Bajaur district was once a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban — the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP — before Pakistan’s army drove the militants out of the tribal districts in successive operations that began in the late 2000s.
Pakistan has seen growing violence at the border and a sharp rise in militant attacks by the TTP since a ceasefire with the government broke down in November.
In a tweet, Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack. He said: “Such crimes cannot be justified in any way.”