Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pak politician among 20 killed

Pak politician among 20 killed

Taliban claim bombing poll programme

News Desk The suicide bombing of an election-preparatory meeting left 20 dead, including a politician, and many maimed in Pakistan. A banned Islamist group claimed responsibility for the carnage. A Dawn report said Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Wednesday claimed the responsibility for Tuesday night's Peshawar blast that killed senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others. Bilour's father, Bashir Bilour, was also killed in a TTP-claimed suicide attack in 2012. Bilour was targeted on Tuesday night at an election gathering in the Yakatoot area. He was contesting the election from the PK-78 constituency. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced Tuesday that the election for PK-78 has been postponed following the tragedy. The blast took place when Bilour arrived at the site of a corner meeting. He suffered serious injuries and was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where he succumbed to his wounds. Police and bomb-disposal officials collected evidence from the blast site and initiated an investigation into the incident. "According to our initial investigation, it was a suicide attack and Haroon Bilour... was the target," said Additional Inspector-General Shafqat Malik. He said that an initial probe suggested that a young boy blew himself up at the main entrance of the gathering when Bilour entered the venue. The death toll was initially reported to be 13, but it rose to 20 overnight, according to Lady Reading Hospital Spokesperson Zulfiqar Ali Baba Khel. Scores of people suffered injuries as a result of the blast. The LRH spokesperson told media that 48 injured were discharged from the hospital after initial treatment, while 15 people including a minor girl were still being treated. The spokesperson added that the girl and five others were in a critical condition. Meanwhile, police arrested a suspect from the hospital. The suspect was among the wounded who were shifted to the hospital by rescuers, police sources said. The body of Haroon Bilour was later shifted to Bilour House where ANP workers gathered in large numbers to pay respect to their leader. The bloody bombing incident of a political party meet took place ahead of general election in Pakistan, scheduled for July 25.

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