Politician among 75 killed in Pakistan

Zia Khan
A suicide attack in Pakistan's southwest has killed 130 people ahead of elections

At least 75 people including a political candidate have been killed in two separate attacks targeting election rallies in Pakistan, in the deadliest day for the country in several months.

At least 70 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself at a campaign rally in the south-western province of Balochistan, provincial home secretary Haider Ali said.

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, a candidate running for the provincial assembly, was among the dead, his family confirmed.

"My brother is no more ... he has been martyred," Lashkari Raisani told media after the bombing in the town of Mastung near the provincial capital Quetta.

The region of Mastung is considered a stronghold of the extremist Islamic State group. Militants from the anti-Shiite Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militia are also active there.

At least 120 injured people are being treated at hospitals in Quetta, police official Imran Khan said.

The bombing is the deadliest attack to hit Pakistan this year and comes just hours after a roadside bomb killed five people in northwestern Pakistan, local police chief Khurram Rashid said.

Akram Khan Durrani, former chief minister of the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, was not hurt in the bombing, which struck his rally in the town of Bannu, Rashid said.

Around 30 people were being treated at a local hospital, said physician Jabbar Masood.

General elections are scheduled for July 25. There are fears of more violence in the run-up to polling day.

Pakistani Taliban have been targeting the leaders of Durrani's party in the past for the religious group's support and participation in the democratic process, which the militants say is a system brought in by Western infidels.

On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself at the election rally of a secular Pashtun party, killing one of its candidates and 20 activists in the deadliest attack in Pakistan this year.

Election violence by the Islamist militants is common in Pakistan. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a bomb-and-gun attack after an election rally ahead of 2008 polls.