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'Mastermind' of 2018 election rally blast killed in SW Pakistan

Pakistani security forces on Sunday claimed to have killed the suspected mastermind of a 2018 election rally bombing that killed over 150 people and injured hundreds in the southwestern Balochistan province.

The alleged terrorist Mumtaz, also known as Mota Pehalwan, was killed in a security operation in Mastung district, located 50 kilometers (31miles), miles from the provincial capital, Quetta, the deputy commissioner of the district, Ilyas Kubzai, told reporters.

Over 150 people were killed and more than 200 injured on July 13, 2018, in a suicide blast targeting the election rally of a local politician in Mastung.

The Daesh terror group, also known as ISIS, had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Over the course of the last decade, Balochistan, and especially its capital Quetta, has faced a deadly wave of violence and bombings.

Aside from its rich mineral deposits, the province is also a key route of $64 billion megaproject, Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.

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