AMN / Peshawar
The number of those killed in last night’s suicide blast in Peshawar has increased to 20. The toll was initially reported to be 13, but it rose to 20 overnight. The Police Chief of Peshawar City said, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour was among those killed, and more than 30 people were injured.
The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the Peshawar suicide blast that killed senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others last night, report Dawn.
Bilour, whose father Bashir Bilour was also killed in a TTP-claimed suicide attack in 2012, was targeted on Tuesday night at an election gathering in the Yakatoot area. He was contesting the election from the PK-78 constituency.
The blast took place shortly before midnight last night when Bilour, who was contesting elections from PK-78 constituency in Peshawar, along with other party workers gathered for a corner meeting in Yakatoot area. Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the blast.
This is the second terror attack on an election rally in Pakistan ahead of the 25th of this month’s general elections.
Earlier this month, seven people, including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, were injured in an explosion during a rally near Takhtikhel.
ANP announces peaceful mourning
ANP chief Asfandyar Wali, while speaking to reporters today, said that the party would observe three days of peaceful mourning, adding that the ANP would participate in the polls, come what may.
He expressed his anger and anguish over the situation and said that he has asked his party workers to remain calm, but that being backed into a corner may be a catalyst for unrest.
“It will not be a good sign for the country if party workers shun the policy of patience,” he said.
The ANP leader explained that the party is facing a complex situation, where the enemy can identify them but they are unable to identify their enemies. “We cannot declare every man with a beard to be a member of the Taliban,” he said.