ANP leader among three others killed in Peshawar blast

Pakistani relative mourn the death of their family member at a hospital in Peshawar

Pakistani relative mourn the death of their family member at a hospital in Peshawar

This photograph taken on April 25, 2013 shows Peshawar provincial assembly candidate Haroon Bilour (C) greeting party activists before a meeting ahead for the forthcoming general election in Peshawar.

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.

The funeral prayers Bilour will be offered at 5:00pm today in Peshawar after which he will be laid to rest at the Wazir Bagh Graveyard.

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

Bilour belonged to an influential political family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. The militants killed hundreds of ANP leaders and supporters in attacks around the 2013 election.

Local television channels broadcast live scenes of ambulances arriving at the site and rushing victims to the hospital.

The head of Peshawar city police also informed media representatives that some 8 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.

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

Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Haroon Bilour was about to address supporters when he was fatally wounded in the attack, which injured at least 54 others.

ANP senior leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the attack was meant to derail democracy and delay the elections scheduled for July 25. More than 380,000 personnel will be deployed for the elections, according to Major General Asif Ghafoor, the military spokesperson.

Pakistan has fought an insurgency since 2004, when militants displaced by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan came to its border tribal areas.

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.

Condemning the attack, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan sought security for the political parties and their candidates during the election campaigns. Officials have said that while the threat remains, terrorists have been significantly weakened because of military operations in recent years. No group has claimed responsibility of the attack.

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