July 13 (UPI) -- At least 70 people died in two attacks on crowds attending political rallies in Pakistan on Friday, officials said.
A suicide bomber attacked a gathering in Dringahr, in Balochistan province, targeting a rally of the separatist Balochistan Awami Party. Siraj Raisini, a candidate for the provincial assembly, died in the attack. Bomb disposal officials confirmed the blast was caused by a single person carrying 35 to 44 pounds of explosives. Another 120 people were injured in the blast.
"Security has been increased in the whole province," said Agha Umar Bangulzai, provincial home minister. "We do not want a repeat of this; all the candidates will be advised and given further security."
The area is the site of several previous attacks by the jihadist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, which has targeted Shia Muslim pilgrims heading to Iran. Raisini's son, 14, died in a terrorist attack in 2011 that killed several others.
Another explosion in the northwestern town of Bannu, at a political rally of the JUI-F party, a Sunni Muslim religious party, killed four people. Former provincial chief minister Akram Khan Durrani, a senior JUI-F leader who running for a seat in Pakistan's assembly, hosted the event but was not injured.
"The rally was in the Huwaid area, and the explosion occurred as people were dispersing after the rally," an unidentified police official told Al Jazeera.. "It was an IED [improvised explosive device] planted in a motorcycle and set off by remote control."
The attacks are the latest in the run up to Pakistan's July 29 national elections. On Tuesday Awami National Party candidate Haroon Bilour was among 22 killed in an attack at a rally in Peshawar. On July 7, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal party candidate Malik Shireen was injured on his way to a rally in Bannu.