Smoke arises near JI chief's vehicle after suicide bomber attacks Sirajul Haq's convoy in Zhob, on May 19, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Author

ZHOB: A “suicide blast” targeted Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Sirajul Haq’s convoy as he was travelling for a rally in Balochistan’s Zhob, injuring seven people, police officials and party leaders confirmed Friday.

“Sirajul Haq remained unharmed during the blast,” the party’s general secretary Ameerul Azeem said.

The JI said on its official Twitter account that it was a suicide attack, adding that the attacker had been killed. 

In a separate tweet, the party said that seven workers were injured, of which four were critical.

Haq would address the rally as per schedule, the JI added.

Footage showed smoke rising close to the vehicle in which the JI chief was purportedly travelling. As the smoke cleared, a dead body, allegedly that of the attacker could be seen.

Journalist Saleem Safi said he spoke to the JI chief, who told him that all the people along with him in the vehicle are safe. However, seven workers who were accompanying the leaders were injured.

Meanwhile, JI spokesperson Qaiser Sharif said a few vehicles had also been damaged.

The party chief had reached Quetta earlier today, he said, adding that a large number of people had gathered to welcome Haq as he entered Zhob. “The suicide attacker was also part of the crowd.”

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo condemned the attack and expressed grief over the injuries. 

“Terrorists want to achieve their evil goals by spreading unrest. We will not allow terrorist elements and their handlers to succeed in their impure objectives,” he asserted. 

The latest attack on a political personality comes as the nation witnesses a rise in terrorism, with security forces ramping up operations to defeat militants.

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