At least four persons including Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour were killed in a suspected suicide blast which targeted an election gathering of ANP in Yakatoot area of Peshawar on Tuesday night, DawnNewsTV reported.
Initial reports reveal that more than a dozen people have been injured in the explosion, who have been shifted to nearby Lady Reading Hospital.
The blast took place when Haroon Bilour, who was contesting elections from PK-78 constituency, arrived at the site where the ANP workers had gathered for a party meeting. Bilour suffered serious injuries and was shifted to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
The rescue teams and law enforcement agencies have reached the site of the blast. Investigations into the incident are now underway.
Haroon Bilour was the son of senior ANP leader Bashir Ahmed Bilourwho was killed when a Pakistani Taliban bomber blew himself up in a party meeting in Peshawar in 2012.
The following year in 2013, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for an attack at an ANP rally in Peshawar, in which 15 people were killed. The TTP spokesperson at the time, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had told journalists that Haroon was the target, but “unfortunately Ghulam Ahmed Bilour got injured”.
The ANP has been a continual target of militant groups operating in the northwest. Militants have waged a campaign of attacks across Pakistan, mainly in the northwest, bordering Afghanistan, in retaliation for government offensives against insurgent strongholds.
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 Taliban have time and again threatened to target secular parties for what they call supporting the military action in tribal areas and the “war on terror”.