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Qatar strongly condemns deadly suicide bombing at Pakistan political rally

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack

Qatar has vehemently condemned a recent suicide bomb attack in northwest Pakistan that killed at least 44 people and injured hundreds more.

The bombing struck a political rally in the Bajaur district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday. The rally was organised by supporters of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, an organisation known for its ties to hardline political Islam.

The bomber detonated the device near the stage where senior leaders were located before tearing through the rest of the rally. According to Radio Pakistan, JUI-F leader Ziaullah Jan was confirmed killed in the attack.

In a statement released on Sunday, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the nation’s unwavering stance against violence and terrorism in all forms.

“The State of Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the bomb blast that took place in Bajur, northwestern Pakistan, resulting in deaths and injuries.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates Qatar’s firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons,” it noted.

“The ministry expresses condolences of the State of Qatar to the families of the victims, and to the government and people of Pakistan, and it wishes fora speedy recovery for the injured,” the statement added.

Authorities in Pakistan declared an emergency in hospitals in Bajaur and nearby areas following the attack as dozens of wounded were transported for urgent treatment.

The scale of the tragedy has strained local health services, with some patients forced to wait in clinic hallways for treatment, according to the BBC.

No group has yet claimed the attack, however, local provincial police identified the cause of the blast as a suicide bombing that could have been launched by the so-called Islamic State militant group.

Pakistani officials across the board have responded to the devastating attack, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemning the incident.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party “expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives,” a statement read.

“The terrorists, their facilitators and planners need to be eliminated so that peace is established in the country,” the PPP statement added.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said “ending terrorism is very important for the survival and integrity of Pakistan”.

The “religion of terrorists is only terrorism,” she added in a post on social media.

This tragic incident follows a pattern of increased attacks in Pakistan since a ceasefire between Islamabad and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) broke down last year.

The TTP, a group formerly dominant in Bajaur, has denounced the bombing, stating that it only serves to pit Islamists against one another.

At least 74 people were killed in a bombing targeting a mosque in Peshawar in January. Just a month later in February, more than 100 people were killed after a bomb detonated at a mosque inside the Peshawar police headquarters.