Islamabad/Quetta, Pakistan – The death toll from a suicide attack on an election rally in southwestern Pakistan has risen to at least 129, government officials say, as relatives continue to throng to a major hospital to collect deceased loved ones.
Several of the wounded from the attack were still under treatment on Saturday, and the death toll could rise, provincial health official Mustafa Jamali told Al Jazeera.
A suicide attacker struck an election rally of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), a newly formed political group, in the southwestern town of Drigarh, about 35km south of Balochistan’s provincial capital Quetta, on Friday afternoon.
The explosion occurred in the middle of a packed crowd, just as BAP leader Siraj Raisani was taking the stage.
Raisani, who was running for a provincial assembly seat in Pakistan’s general election later this month, was killed, his brother Lashkari Raisani told Al Jazeera.
Images from the blast site following the attack showed scores of bodies strewn across the ground, some covered with the party’s green and white flags.
At Quetta’s main civil hospital,