The Legitimate Online| As many as twenty people including the leader of Awami National Party (ANP) was killed after suicide attacker hit the political gathering in Peshawar- a north western city of Pakistan.
Reports said that Haroon Bilour- president along with thirty others got injured of which 20 succumbed so far in the deadliest attack aiming to hit the secular party’s political gathering.
According to local media reports, the blast took place when ANP workers had gathered for a corner meeting in the highly congested area Yakatoot.
“The death toll was initially reported at 13 but it rose to 20 overnight,” reports Dawn quoting Lady Reading Hospital’s spokesperson Zulfiqar Ali Baba Khel.
On the arrival of Bilour, fire crackers were burst followed by the massive blast by a suicide bomber who blew himself up and injured thirty people on the spot.
Bilour suffered serious injuries in the blast and later succumbed to injuries in the hospital.
He was contesting from the PK 78 constituency in the area.
Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik said eight kilos of TNT explosive was used in the blast. Major rescue operation has been launched and the police has started an investigations into the deadly attack.
The Pakistan Taliban has claimed the responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Mohammad Khurasani said in a statement that they targeted ANP’s rally, killing Bilour.
The highly infested with terrorism, ANP governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2008 to 2013.
The Pakistan army had waged a major offensive in 2009 in the province to clean up the area form the terrorists. Bilour’s father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, was killed by a suicide bomber during a meeting in 2012 ahead of the vote.
Pakistan is going for the general elections on July 25 and so far it is second attack on the election rally in the country. Earlier in July, seven people including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, a gathering of religious parties were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel also in the KPK province.
As the terrorists are making all efforts to sabotage the electoral process in the country, the Pakistan army maintains that 371,288 nearly a third of its army would be deployed for the security purposes during the elections.