Friday, 20 July, 2018

ANP leader Haroon Bilour among 12 killed in Peshawar blast, police say

Suicide bomber kills ANP candidate, supporters at election rally Suicide attack on Pakistan election rally kills thirteen
Steven Clarke | 11 July, 2018, 02:49

Mr Bilour was taken to hospital but later succumbed to his injuries.

The blast occurred as Haroon Bilour arrived at the stage to address supporters in Yaka Toot area.

The police officer did not confirm the nature of the blast, however, a local ANP leader while talking to DawnNewsTV said that a suicide bomber blew himself when Bilour entered the compound where the meeting was being held.

Following the blast, security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

Haroon Balour was contesting forthcoming general election from ANP's platform from PK-78.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast.

His father, Bashir Bilour was also martyred in a suicide bombing targeting his rally in the fabled Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar in December 2012. The ANP governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, from 2008 to 2013.

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ANP senior leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the attack was meant to derail democracy and delay the elections scheduled for July 25.

According to the police, the vehicle of Haroon Bilour was the main target of the bomber.

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

The attack targeted a campaign event organised in the city of Peshawar by the Awami National Party, which has been targeted by Islamist militants in the past over its vocal opposition to extremist groups like the Taliban.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan strongly condemned the attack at the ANP corner meeting.

On July 9, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) had briefed the Senate Committee on Interior about threats to the leaders of the political parties especially those of ANP.

He said Nacta had forwarded 12 threat alerts to the federal interior and provincial home ministries as well as law enforcement agencies.

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