An Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing Sunday at a pro-Taliban election rally in Pakistan.
The Islamic State in Khorasan Province issued a statement online saying the attacker detonated an explosive inside a large tent where at least 1,000 people gathered to hear from a candidate in Pakistan's parliamentary fall election. The attack killed at least 54 people, including five children, and injured nearly 200 others.
"People were chanting 'God is Great' as the leaders arrived," local resident Khan Mohammad told the Associated Press. "And that was when I heard the deafening sound of the bomb."
The father of an 11-year-old boy who was injured in the bombing told the outlet that his family was in a state of shock after hearing about the attack.
"What would I have done if he had also been martyred," Gul Akbar said. "Five children died in this barbaric attack, and we want to know what our children did wrong."
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but police suspected in their initial investigation that the ISKP was to blame. Victims of the attack were buried in Bajur on Monday.
Islamic terrorist groups have long had a presence in the region. However, the ISKP — based in neighboring Afghanistan — is considered a rival to both the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda.
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