ANP leader Haroon Bilour among 12 killed in Peshawar blast, police say

Suicide bomber kills ANP candidate, supporters at election rally

At least 12 people, including Awami National Party candidate Haroon Bilour, were killed in a suicide blast at the party's political gathering in Peshawar, SAMAA TV reported Tuesday.

Haroon Bilour was approaching the rally organised in connection with his election campaign on Circular Road when the explosion took place.

The head of Peshawar city police also informed media representatives that some 8 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.

The Bomb Disposal Squad confirmed that it was a suicide bomb.

His father, Bashir Bilour was also martyred in a suicide bombing targeting his rally in the fabled Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar in December 2012. The TTP spokesperson at the time, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had told journalists that Haroon was the target, but "unfortunately Ghulam Ahmed Bilour got injured". The casualties were driven to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), where medics confirmed the death toll.

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Haroon Bilour was contesting the election from PK-87 on ANP's ticket.

Rescuers and police teams rushed to the site and shifted the injured to nearby hospitals.

The police officer did not confirm the nature of the blast, however, a local ANP leader while talking to DawnNewsTV said that a suicide bomber blew himself when Bilour entered the compound where the meeting was being held.

Earlier this month, seven people including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel canal. The ANP, which campaigns against the Taliban, has been a regular target of militants operating in Pakistan's northwest.

Reacting to the incident, Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk, Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik, Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, condemned the attack and death of the ANP leader.

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