Peshawar attack: death toll increase to 20

Peshawar attack: death toll increase to 20

Bilawal expressed his outrage and grief at the assassination of Haroon Bilour, son of slain ANP politician Bashir Bilour.

At least 20 people, including a senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader, were killed and more than 30 others injured after a Taliban suicide bomber attacked an election rally in Pakistan's northwestern Peshawar city, the second terrorist attack on a poll rally ahead of the July 25 general elections. The militants responded by carrying out a wave of attacks ahead of the 2013 elections, killing hundreds of ANP supporters.

It is pertinent to note here that Bilour's father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, too had lost his life in a 2012 suicide bomb explosion in the city's Qissa Khwani bazar.

Police said that the head of the suspected suicide bomber has been found from the rooftop of a building, adding that almost eight kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the attack.

"Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's mujahid (holy fighter) Abdul Karim last night carried out a suicide attack on important ANP leader Haroon Bilour in which he has been killed", Khorasani said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first major pre-election violence.

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Militants have targeted politicians, religious gatherings, security forces and even schools in Peshawar.

According to the Commission, the election in PK-78 (Peshawar-13) will be held later along with by-elections which will take place after the general elections scheduled on July 25.

An AFP reporter saw human remains, shoes, broken chairs, and caps littered at the scene. His body was later shifted to Bilour House where ANP workers gathered in great numbers to pay respect to their deceased leader.

But many militants have escaped into neighbouring Afghanistan, from where Islamabad says they launch attacks back into Pakistan.

More than 380,000 personnel will be deployed for the elections, according to Major General Asif Ghafoor, the military spokesman. But ANP leaders have vowed to continue their campaign this year despite the bombing in Peshawar.

Tuesday's bombing was condemned by political parties and the government. Officials have said that while the threat remains, militants have been significantly weakened because of military operations in recent years. He is the eldest child of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

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