Blast near MMA candidate Akram Durrani's convoy kills three

Pakistan readies for disgraced ex-PM Sharif's return from UK

Baluchistan Home Minister Agha Omer Bangulzai told Reuters that the death toll in the attack had risen to 128 people, with over 150 wounded.

Former Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani's convoy was targeted, Dawn reported.

Underscoring the security threat, were Friday's bombings that killed 69 people in the latest election related violence.

The officials have said the death toll has climbed at least four people while at least 32 others have sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment in the District Headquarter Hospital in Bannu.

In the first incident near the KP town of Bannu, four people were killed and 39 injured when a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle detonated as a politician's convoy passed by on Friday, police said. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

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"Mir Siraj Raisani succumbed to wounds while he was being shifted to Quetta", he said.

Earlier he had also confirmed that the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber and that the explosion had killed Siraj Raisani, who was running for a provincial seat with the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Siraj's teenage son, Akmal Raisani, had also been killed in an attack during a football match in the same district in 2011.

Pakistani volunteers rush injured persons to a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, July 13, 2018.

The attack came hours after a bomb hit a rally of Akram Khan Durrani of Mutahida Majlis Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious party, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, in Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

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No group has claimed responsibility for the two attacks so far.

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed Awami National Party (ANP) leader and candidate in the general elections, Haroon Bilour and 19 others after striking at a corner election meeting in Peshawar city.

The country's media regulator warned local news channels to abstain from airing statements "by political leadership containing defamatory and derogatory content targeting various state institutions specifically judiciary and armed forces", the regulator said in a statement.

Pakistan's third major political movement, the Pakistan Peoples Party, joined the criticism of the crackdown, with its prime ministerial candidate Bilawal Bhutto Zardari questioning why Sharif's supporters would be prevented from gathering. Thousands flocked to his funeral the next day.

"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.

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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.

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