Death toll in ISIS-claimed Pakistan blast jumps to 128

Disgraced ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be whisked away by helicopter to the federal capital of Islamabad when he returns Friday to Pakistan's easte

IS claimed responsibility for the attack in an announcement by the militant group's Amaq news agency.

Balochistan government has also announced two-day mourning in the province over the tragic suicide bomb blast in Mastung on Friday, in which one hundred twenty-eight people were martyred and around two hundred others injured. No group has yet claimed responsibility for that attack.

Akram Khan Durrani of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal escaped a blast in northern Bannu on Friday.

Pakistan's campaign until this week had been relatively peaceful, compared with frequent attacks by the Pakistani Taliban during the 2013 election, which saw 170 people killed, according to statistics from the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies. "These attacks are cowardly attempts to deprive the Pakistani people of their democratic rights", US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Senior police official Qaim Lashari had earlier said that more than 1000 people were in attendance at the rally in the town of Mastung.

The attack happened in Balochistan and was the third such attack on candidates in the run-up to July 25 polls.

Picture: EPAMr Raisani died at a hospital in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, hours after being critically wounded. "There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design meant to target these historic elections to succeed", he continued.

The motorcade of the religious party Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) was heading to a meeting in the semi-autonomous Bannu district when the blast happened in the morning.

He was running for election for the Baluchistan Awami Party and is the brother of the former chief minister, Aslam Raisani.

Haroon Bilour, a senior secular politician and candidate for a provincial assembly seat, was among those killed in Tuesday's bombing. Another 65 people were wounded.

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on Friday after flying back to the country to face lengthy prison sentences, in a high-stakes gamble to galvanize their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 election. He was accompanied by his daughter Mariam.

Mr Sharif flew into Lahore from London, where he was visiting his ailing wife when he was convicted of corruption.

In a directive to all satellite television channels, the National Electronic Regulatory Authority barred them from airing interviews granted by Sharif to reporters in London and Abu Dhabi as well as paid advertisements eulogising the tumultuous five years of Sharif's government.

He has accused Pakistan's powerful security establishment of conspiring against him ahead of the elections.

Khan said Sharif will appeal his conviction and apply for bail before the deadline expires on Monday.

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