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

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

"Sad to learn of Haroon Bilour and 2 other ANP workers deaths and strongly condemn the terrorist attack at the ANP corner mtg in Peshawar". Bilour was rushed to Lady Reading Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

More than 30 people injured in the explosion.

Police said the bomber struck when Bilour was about to address some 200 supporters.

Haroon Bilour had hoped to win a provincial assembly seat in July.

Slain ANP leader Haroon Bilour.

Haroon Bilour was contesting the election from PK-87 on ANP's ticket.

Peshawar city police chief Qazi Jameel said the number of casualties was high because the ANP event was taking place at a house in a narrow street.

Last month, a USA drone strike killed the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the ANP in the 2013 election on the grounds that it had supported operations against the militants. The TTP spokesperson at the time, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had told journalists that Haroon was the target, but "unfortunately Ghulam Ahmed Bilour got injured".

Haroon Bilour was one of the ANP's election candidates and belonged to an influential political family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. 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.

Earlier this month, seven people including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel canal.

They have often been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and their allies.

Pakistani terror organisations have claimed responsibility for attacks on several prominent political figures, including the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

A police officer in plain clothes collects evidence from the site after a suicide attack during an election campaign meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan July 10, 2018.

"Six people include Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Ameer Haider Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party head Aftab Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Akram Khan Durrani and Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Saeed".

Chief Election Commissioner Raza Khan said the attack on an electoral candidate, despite the ECP's directions to provide security, was a result of the security institutions' negligence.