Islamabad: At least 13 people, including Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour, were killed and nearly 50 others injured in a suicide blast at an election gathering in Pakistan’s northwestern Peshawar city.
The blast took place shortly before midnight when Bilour along with ANP workers gathered for a corner meeting in the congested Yakatoot area.
Thirteen people were killed and 47 others were injured in the blast, confirmed officials at the Lady Reading Hospital, where the victims were shifted.
City police chief Qazi Jameel said Bilour, the ANP candidate from PK 78 constituency in Peshawar city, was among those killed.
Fireworks were being burst as Bilour arrived on the stage when the suicide bomber blew himself up.
Bilour suffered serious injuries and was shifted to a hospital where he succumbed to the wounds, reports said.
Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik said eight kilos of TNT explosive was used in the blast.
Rescue teams and law enforcement agencies have reached the site of the blast and investigations into the incident are now underway.
This is the second terrorist attack on an election rally in Pakistan ahead of the July 25 general election.
Earlier this month, seven people including a candidate of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, a gathering of religious parties were injured in an explosion during an election rally near Takhtikhel also in the KPK province.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Muhammad Raza strongly condemned the attack, reports said.