Reuters logo
At least nine killed in blast at Pakistan election rally
April 16, 2013 / 4:53 PM / in 5 years

At least nine killed in blast at Pakistan election rally

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - At least nine people were killed and more than 50 wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber attacked an election rally for a party opposed to Pakistan’s Taliban movement, police said.

Security officials collect evidence near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar April 16, 2013. At least nine people were killed and more than 50 wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber attacked a pre-election rally held by a political party opposed to Pakistan's Taliban movement, police said. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

The blast struck a gathering called by senior politicians of the Awami National Party (ANP) in the northwestern city of Peshawar ahead of the May 11 general elections.

The attack underscored the threat posed by insurgent violence ahead of the elections, which would mark the first transition in Pakistan between elected civilian governments.

“It was a suicide attack,” senior police official Shafqat Malik said.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which has threatened to attack the ANP ahead of the vote, claimed responsibility for the blast.

Rescue workers stand near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Peshawar April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

A hospital official said doctors were treating some 50 people wounded in the explosion, including dozens who were in critical condition.

The ANP has its roots among ethnic Pashtuns in northwest Pakistan, but espouses secular values, putting it in direct confrontation with Islamist ideologies of Pakistan’s Taliban.

Relatives wheel Awami National Party (ANP) candidate for the upcoming elections Syed Masoom Shah, who was injured in a bomb attack near the venue of his party's rally, in Charsadda on the outskirts of Peshawar April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Police said that Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a veteran politician and senior member of the ANP, was among the wounded.

Bilour, a former railways minister, offered a $100,000 reward in September for anyone who killed the makers of a film he said was insulting to Islam and that sparked protests in many Muslim countries. He invited the Taliban and al Qaeda to join him in what he called at the time a “blessed mission”.

In a separate attack in volatile northwest Pakistan, at least eight security personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a military truck travelling through North Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s tribal belt, intelligence officials said.

The officials said at least 12 people were wounded in the blast, a reminder of the potent threat posed by insurgents on the border with Afghanistan where militancy is rife.

Reporting by Jibran Ahmed; Writing By Matthew Green; Editing by Jon Hemming

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below