Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

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

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

His father, Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a former senior minister and ANP leader, was also killed in a suicide attack by the Taliban in Peshawar's Qissa Khwani Bazar just months ahead of the last elections in 2013.

"We condemn this heinous terrorist attack and wish Allah's mercy upon those who lost their lives, a speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey our condolences to the friendly government and brotherly people of Pakistan", the statement added.

A suicide bomber killed an Awami National Party leader and 13 of his supporters at an election rally in Peshawar's Yakatoot neighbourhood, police said on Tuesday.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but there have been dozens of such bombings in recent years in Peshawar. Bilour was set to contest the July 25 elections from the Peshawar's PK-78 constituency.

Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik said an eight-kg TNT explosive was used in the blast.

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.

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

The ANP, which governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2008 to 2013, has been a continual target of militant groups operating in the northwest. The militants responded by carrying out a wave of attacks ahead of the 2013 elections, killing hundreds of ANP supporters.

Mosharraf Zaidi, head of Alif Ailaan, flayed the attack, saying "The horror continues for the Bilour family".

Major General Asif Ghafoor, an army spokesman, said the troops would provide security at 85,000 polling stations and carry out other election-related duties following a request from the civilian body overseeing the vote.

The Pakistani Taliban said the attack on Tuesday night was an act of revenge for the ANP's rule.

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.

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