Five killed, 37 injured as bomb blast targets Islamist party leader’s convoy in Pakistan

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PESHAWAR: A senior leader of an Islamist party escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb attack targeted his convoy in northwest Pakistan, killing five people and injuring 37 others in the third terror attack on a political rally ahead of the July 25 general elections.

Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) central leader Akram Durrani received minor injuries in the blast in Bannu district bordering the restive north Waziristan tribal district.

The bomb was planted in a motorcycle which exploded close to the vehicle of Durrani, who is the candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a political alliance consisting of conservative, Islamist, religious, and far-right parties of Pakistan.

Durrani was heading back from an election rally near North Waziristan when the attack took place.

The blast took place around 40 metres away from the venue of a public meeting, regional police officer Bannu Karim Khan said.

The injured have been shifted to a local hospital where five are stated to be in critical condition.

Durrani is contesting against cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan in the July 25 election.

“Strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Akram Durrani and his convoy,” Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, tweeted after the attack.

“There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design intended to target these historic elections to succeed,” he said.

This is the third terrorist attack on an election rally in Pakistan ahead of the general elections.

On July 10, senior secular leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Haroon Bilour and 19 others were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up in an election rally in Pakistan’s northwestern Peshawar city.

Earlier this month, seven people including a candidate of the MMA were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Source: Economic Times