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Pakistan election rally attack: Death toll rises to 85

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Death toll in Pakistan election rally attack rises to 85 Published July 13, 2018

Pakistan election rally attack – The death toll in a suicide bombing in southwestern Pakistan Friday jumped to 85, an official said, the deadliest in a string of attacks on political rallies that have raised security fears ahead of nationwide polls on July 25.

The blast in the town of Mastung, near the Balochistan provincial capital Quetta, came hours after another bomb killed at least four people at a campaign rally in Bannu in the country’s northwest.

The attacks underscored the fragility of Pakistan’s dramatic improvement in security and raised fears ahead of the vote.

“Death toll has risen to 85,” Balochistan health minister Faiz Kakar told AFP, adding that were more than 100 wounded.

Earlier he had said 70 people were killed.

According to senior provincial official Saeed Jamali, the bomber detonated in the middle of a compound where a political meeting was taking place. Another senior official, Qaim Lashari, also confirmed it had been a suicide blast.

The explosion killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), provincial home minister Agha Umar Bungalzai told AFP.

“Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta,” he added. Raisani was the younger brother of former provincial chief minister Mir Aslam Raisani.

The explosion comes hours after four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated near a Pakistani politician’s convoy in Bannu on Friday, near the Afghan border.

The earlier bomb was targeting the convoy of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Akram Khan Durrani, who survived the attack, police said. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

On Tuesday, a bomb claimed by the Pakistani Taliban targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the city of Peshawar.

Local ANP leader Haroon Bilour was among the 22 killed. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.

– ‘Duty to protect’ –

Following the series of attacks, activists called for Pakistani authorities to remain vigilant to protect candidates during the final days of the campaign season.

“The Pakistani authorities have a duty to protect the rights of all Pakistanis during this election period — their physical security and their ability to express their political views freely, regardless of which party they belong to,” said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International.

The military has warned of security fears in the run-up to the tense election on July 25, and said it will deploy more than 370,000 soldiers on polling day.

Militants have targeted politicians, religious gatherings, security forces and even schools in Pakistan.

But security across the country has dramatically improved since government and military operations cleared large swathes of territory near the Afghan border in recent years.

Analysts warn however that Pakistan has yet to tackle the root causes of extremism, and militants retain the ability to carry out attacks.

Last month a drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazlullah, in neighbouring Afghanistan in what the Pakistani army called a “positive development” that also sparked fears of reprisals.

AFP

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

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Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

Flood submerges five communities, rice mill in Benue State

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency(BSEMA), Emmanuel Shior said on Wednesday that the rampaging flood has submerged five communities in Agatu and other parts of Makurdi, the state capital.

Shior disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on the current flood situation in the state, adding that Rice Mill and other settlements on the banks of River Benue were also affected. He said that the state government had taken proactive measures, including setting up a committee to sensitise the people of the state on the dangers ahead.

He said that the committee consists of officials drawn from SEMA, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Information and other stakeholders in the state. Shior said that SEMA, in conjunction with NEMA and other stakeholders, had embarked on an awareness campaign in the media, churches and Mosques. He said that the campaign was intended to encourage residents of flood prone areas to relocate to safer areas.

The BSEMA boss said that the latest check with a guage showed that the water level at the River Benue had risen to 11 metres, barely one meter to its maximum level. According to him, the water has virtually reached the level that caused flooding in 2012, during which most parts of the state were submerged. He advised residents to steer clear from the river because of the high level, saying that 12 metres was the highest level that could cause disaster in any state.

He said that centres in the state, including the International Market, had been prepared to accommodate displaced persons. In his remark, Mr Lugard Slaku , the Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for North Central, said that 12 states, including Benue, had been listed as most threatened by flood in the country.

“So we have come with a team trained by NEMA to collaborate with SEMA to assess the situation, check the available facilities and gaps and report back to the head office for additional resources, where needed.” Slaku said.

Slaku said that while NEMA, SEMA and other stakeholders were working hard to ensure prompt response to distres calls, the people must cooperate with government to prevent avoidable disaster.

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

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Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Video of dancing senator, Ademola Adeleke, dishing hot steps at PDP rally in Osun state

Senator Adeleke doing what he loves best..

Watch the video below.

 

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Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals

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Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals
  • Why Buhari removed Matthew Seiyefa as DSS boss, PDP reveals

The Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has given reasons President Muhammadu Buhari removed former Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Matthew Seiyefa.

Seiyefa was replaced with Yusuf Magaji Bichi, by President Buhari last Friday, after he acted for a brief period during which he tried to reposition the security agency.

Chairman of the state PDP, Cleopas Moses, in a statement in Yenagua, yesterday, said Seiyefa’s sudden removal was borne out of fear by the ruling cabal.

He said that members of President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet were not comfortable with a non-Northerner as the DSS boss.

According to Moses, Seiyefa’s service to the nation was cut short because he is not from any of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.

He said that this was a continuation of the current Federal Government’s unfair treatment to the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region.

He added, “The party believes if Seiyefa was from any of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, he would not have been thrown out the way the Buhari administration did, not minding his acclaimed competence on the job.

“We have it on record that Mr. Seiyefa had nobody to run to as this ill-advised plot was hatched by the cabal in their government.”

The party chairman said the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government was being anti-Ijaw in its decisions and execution of policies and projects.

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