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Up to 45 people died and at least 200 were injured after a bomb detonated at an Islamist party’s political rally Sunday in northwestern Pakistan, Reuters reported.

The blast occurred at a rally of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party on the outskirts of the city of Khar in the Bajur district, which borders Afghanistan, Al Jazeera reported. It was just one of the many rallies being held across the country ahead of elections in October.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but local authorities said the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.

Many in Pakistan believe the bombing was the work of the armed group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban.

Pakistani security analyst Zeeshan Salahuddin told Al Jazeera that the TTP has “dramatically escalated” attacks since a ceasefire with the government broke down last year. The group has grown stronger since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, he added.

“All indications point to the fact that this terror group has regained quite a lot of the momentum it had lost between 2014 and 2018, when Pakistan conducted extensive military operations against the group,” Salahuddin said.

The group has been waging war against the government of Pakistan for more than a decade, demanding the imposition of Islamic law and the release of its members from jails.

In January, a suicide bomber hit a mosque inside a police compound in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing more than 80 officers.

However, a TTP spokesperson condemned the attack as the group distanced itself from the explosion, Al Jazeera reported.

Others say Islamic State might be responsible, pointing to a local affiliate’s recent attacks against the party, Agence France-Presse /Le Monde reported.

Last year, the group took responsibility for violent attacks against religious scholars affiliated with the party.

Islamic State says it targets party members because while it professes to be a conservative Islamic group, it has long supported the government and the military.

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