Pakistan: Election candidate injured in suicide attack

  22 July 2018    Read: 1611
Pakistan: Election candidate injured in suicide attack

A suspected suicide blast on Sunday targeted an election campaign convoy in the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhunkhwa province, killing at least one person and injuring six others, including an election candidate.

“A suicide bomber blew himself up near the vehicle of Ikramullah Gandapur in Looni Darbar area of Dera Ismail Khan district, when he was on his way for an election rally in the area,” Zahoor Afridi, district police officer, told Anadolu Agency.

Gandapur, a former minister who is also a candidate of right-wing Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, is contesting for provincial assembly seat in the country’s July 25 election.

The driver of the vehicle was killed in the incident, while six others -- including Gandapur and two police constable -- were wounded in the attack, Afridi added.

Israrullah Khan Gandapur, a younger brother of injured Gandapur and former law minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was also killed in a suicide attack in 2013.

Meanwhile, Akram Khan Durrani, former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister and a key leader of five-party religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, escaped an assassination attempt in Bannu district on Sunday.

According to police, unknown gunman opened fire at Durrani’s vehicle in Mandio area of Bannu, when he was on his way to attend a public gathering.

This was the second attack on Durrani in the last two weeks.

On July 13, militants targeted his convoy with explosive-laden motorbike, killing at least five people and injuring another 30 in Bannu.

Durrani is contesting elections against Khan, a popular former cricket star, in Bannu.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Sunday’s attacks. However, security agencies point finger at Pakistani Taliban who have long been targeting the security agencies and civilians through suicide bombings.

The latest bombing is the fifth terror incident that targeted the election rallies in Pakistan.

On July 13, at least 140 people, including a candidate, were killed and over 150 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in election gathering in southwestern Balochistan province.

Earlier, a suicide blast at an election rally on July 10, in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital, had killed 21 people including election candidate.

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