Blast rips through political gathering in Pakistan, killing at least 54

At least 54 people died after a suicide bomber attacked a political convention organized by an Islamist party in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, police said.

Shaukat Abbas, deputy inspector general of police, said 12 of those who died were under the age of 12.

More than 100 were injured, 17 critically, in the attack targeting members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, who had gathered in the town of Khar, Bajaur district, close to the border with Afghanistan.

Local police said the attacker detonated explosives near the convention’s stage.

There has been no initial claim of responsibility for the attack. But the local branch of ISIS has previously targeted JUI-F party leaders as they consider them apostates.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif “strongly condemned” the blast, according to a statement released by his office.

An investigation is underway, and the prime minister’s office has requested a report from Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the statement added.

Read more: CNN