The death toll from a massive suicide bombing that targeted an election rally for a pro-Taliban Muslim leader has risen to 54, as Pakistan held funerals and the government promised to hunt down those behind the attack.
While no one immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing, which also wounded nearly 200 people, police said their initial investigation suggested that the ISIL (ISIS) regional affiliate could be responsible.
The victims were attending a rally organized by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, headed by hardline politician and Muslim leader Fazlur Rehman. He did not attend the rally, held under a large tent close to a market in Bajaur, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan.
Victims of the bombing were buried in Bajaur on Monday.
Rehman, who has long supported Afghanistan’s Taliban government, escaped at least two known bomb attacks in 2011 and 2014 when bombings damaged his car at rallies.