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Top ANP leader among 13 killed in suicide blast at poll rally in Pak

Press Trust of India  |  Peshawar 

At least 13 people, including a senior leader, were killed and 50 others injured in a suicide bomb attack targeting an election rally in Pakistan's northwestern city, the second terrorist attack on a poll rally ahead of the July 25

The blast took place shortly before midnight last night when ANP along with other party workers gathered for a corner meeting in the congested Yakatoot area.

The blast occurred near the vehicle of Bilour, son of the late ANP Bashir Bilour, who was also killed in a suicide attack when a Pakistani bomber blew himself up at a party meet in in 2012.

Thirteen people were killed and 47 others were injured in the blast, said the officials at the Lady Reading Hospital, where the victims were shifted.

said Bilour, the ANP candidate from PK 78 constituency in city, was among those killed.

Fireworks were being burst as Bilour arrived on the stage when the suicide bomber blew himself up. Bilour suffered and was shifted to the hospital where he succumbed to the wounds.

Bomb disposal squad said eight kilos of explosive was used in the blast.

Rescue teams and law enforcement agencies have reached the site of the blast and investigations into the incident are underway.

This is the second terrorist attack on an election rally in ahead of the July 25

Earlier this month, seven people including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, a gathering of religious parties were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel also in the province.

ANP supporters gathered outside the hospital and shouted slogans against the government for its failure to provide security to their

Pakistan's Election Commissioner (CEC) strongly condemned the attack.

"This shows the weakness of our security institutions and a conspiracy against transparent elections," he said in a statement.

The ANP is a mainstream national party headed by Asfandyar Wali Khan, the grandson of commonly referred to as Bacha Khan among the Pushtuns.

The ANP, which governed the province from 2008 to 2013, has been targeted by the TTP for carrying out operations against militant outfits in the Northwestern region of and being secular in its ideology.

The (Nacta) on Monday had told a standing committee that some leading political leaders faced death threats from militant outfits ahead of the July 25 in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 09:55 IST