Son of slain anti-Taliban politician among 20 dead in Pakistan blast

Son of slain anti-Taliban politician among 20 dead in Pakistan blast

Son of slain anti-Taliban politician among 20 dead in Pakistan blast

The rally that was targeted had been organized by the anti-Taliban Awami National Party. A [hospital] spokesperson told media that 48 injured were discharged from the hospital after initial treatment, while 15 people including a minor girl were still being treated.

"We learned with sorrow that a terrorist attack perpetrated at an election rally in Peshawar resulted in the loss of lives of many and left many others wounded", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Bomb disposal chief Shafqat Malik told AFP that the suicide bomber - who he said was around 16 years old - had eight kilograms (18 pounds) of explosives and three kilograms of pellets, ball bearings and other shrapnel on his body. The politician was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, Dawn reported. After being informed, rescue teams, police and ambulances rushed to the crime spot and investigation is underway.

Pakistani residents bury a blast victim, killed in a suicide bombing at an election rally, during their funeral in Peshawar on July 11, 2018.

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 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. Fazlullah had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the ANP before the 2013 election on the grounds that it had supported an army offensive against the militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first major pre-election violence.

Pakistan's Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Muhammad Raza strongly condemned the attack.

Mosharraf Zaidi, head of Alif Ailaan, flayed the attack, saying "The horror continues for the Bilour family". Earlier, Pakistan's military warned of security threats in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled for July 25.

The caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk has ordered authorities to ensure peace during the July 25 vote.

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