Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Dozens killed in Pakistan terror strike targeting political rally

Pakistan: At least 70 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate, killed in blast Blast targets convoy of JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu, 4 killed
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2018, 20:38

At least four people were killed and 35 others injured when a bomb targeted the convoy of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate Akram Durrani near the northwestern town of Bannu.

Balochistan Awami Party candidate Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who was scheduled to contest the election against his brother, died in the blast.

The bombing was the most deadly attack in Pakistan in over a year and is the third incident of election-related violence this week.

Sharif is expected to appeal against his conviction and seek bail.

"There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design meant to target these historic elections to succeed", he continued.

The Balochistan Awami Party was created in March after the removal of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) coalition government in Balochistan, Dawn reported.

Barbed wire was strung across some roads leading to the Lahore airport on Friday and barricades were positioned at the roadside ready to close off main boulevards should crowds start to gather.

In a televised appeal to supporters from London this week, Sharif said he was not afraid of prison and asked people to vote for his party.

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During his term in office, Sharif criticised the military's involvement in civilian affairs and its efforts in fighting extremists. The military denied the accusations, and said its assistance had been requested by Pakistan's election commission.

Police had earlier said that the attack targeted Raisani's convoy but later changed their statement as video footage of a large tent showing damage from the blast was circulated.

The RPO said around 40 policemen were deployed for the security.

His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan's last election.

Durrani was returning after attending a rally in connection with the election campaign when he was attacked.

Police said former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Durrani's cavalcade was attacked in Haved neighborhood of the city.

"There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design meant to target these historic elections to succeed", he tweeted.

Initial investigation suggested it was a suicide attack, Lashari added. But he said the people of Pakistan will not allow anything to prevent "historic" elections from taking place.

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