Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

20 killed in political rally’s bombing

20 killed in political rally’s bombing

This was the first major attack on a campaign event for Pakistan's July 25 general election.

At least 21 people including ANP leader Haroon Bashir Bilour were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a corner meeting in Peshawar's Yakatoot area.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), after the incident, postponed the elections in PK-78 constituency.

Later, the party even announced to postpone its rally in Peshawar scheduled for July 14 (Saturday).

A senior police official estimated that 30,000 people attended the funeral of the local leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), Haroon Bilour, who was among those killed in the attack late Tuesday during an election rally.

City police chief Qazi Jameel said Bilour was among those killed.

Another 65 people were wounded.

"I am also ready to sacrifice my life for your rights, but I request you to exercise restraint", Bilour's 16-year-old son Daniyal, who was wounded in the bombing, told supporters at his home. Talking to the media, the CCPO said it was a suicide attack and Haroon Bilour was the target.

Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik said eight kilos of TNT explosive was used in the blast.

The Associated Press further notes, "Islamic extremists grew to despise the ANP when it ruled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, from 2008 to 2013".

Claiming responsibility for the attack, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson termed the assassination "revenge for ANP's previous government".

The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) on Monday had told a Senate standing committee that some leading political leaders faced death threats from militant outfits ahead of the July 25 general elections in Pakistan. The politician was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, Dawn reported. His body was later shifted to Bilour House where ANP workers gathered in great numbers to pay respect to their deceased leader. Emergency was declared in all the hospitals of the city.

We will resume our election campaign after three days, said the ANP chief.

Bilour's family called on his supporters to remain calm.

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