World | Pakistan

Bomb near Pakistan rally kills two: police

ANP was holding an election rally in Bannu

  • By Mohsin Ali, Correspondent
  • Published: 17:44 March 31, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Pakistani paramedics treat an injured police commando after a bomb blast at an election rally in Bannu on March 31, 2013.

Islamabad: A bomb explosion targeted an electioneering rally in Bannu district of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakthunkhwa province on Sunday, killing two people, police said.

The roadside bomb exploded in the town of Bannu where Adnan Wazir, a former legislator from the secular Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was heading a convoy of dozens of vehicles to address the rally,

Several people were also injured in the blast.

“The remote-controlled bomb hit the convoy and damaged several vehicles. Two people later died in hospital,” Nisar Ahmad Tanoli, a senior police official told AFP.

Wazir, a candidate for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly in the May 11 national and local polls, was among six injured.

The ANP provincial government completed its five-year term in March, handing over power to a caretaker setup ahead of the May 11 national elections.

Police said a bomb planted near the venue of the rally was detonated by remote control and two policemen were among the injured.

Reports said the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack as well as for the incident a day before in the town of Mardan, in which one suicide bomber blew himself up, killing a policeman, and another bomber was shot dead by the police.

“We claim responsibility for the attack. We are against ANP and Adnan Wazir was a part of the ANP government for five years,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The TTP has previously made death threats against politicians from the secular ANP, which ruled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 2008 until the provincial assembly was dissolved pending the election.

“We have directed our associates in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to target ANP election rallies and all its leaders,” Ehsan said.

The roadside bomb exploded in the town of Bannu where Adnan Wazir, a former legislator from the secular Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was heading a convoy of dozens of vehicles to address the rally,

Bannu is close to the lawless tribal area along the Afghan border where Taliban and other Islamic militants have hideouts.

Violence has been increasing in the northwest as Pakistan prepares to hold a general election and provincial elections on May 11, which will mark the country’s first democratic transition of power.

Pakistan says more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

With inputs from AFP

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