ANP leader among 12 martyred in Peshawar blast

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

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 corner meeting. He said that almost 8 kilograms of TNT explosives were used in the blast.

Rescue staff reached the spot and shifted the bodies and wounded people to local hospital. The casualties were driven to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), where medics confirmed the death toll.

Bilour was a provincial assembly candidate for the July 25 general elections.

Mr Bilour's father, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, also a senior figure within the leftist secular party, was killed in a Taliban suicide blast at a party meeting in 2012.

Confirming Haroon Bilour's martyrdom, the spokesman said that Haroon's son, Danial Bilour, was safe.

Police said the bomber struck when Bilour was about to address some 200 supporters.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) confirmed that it was a suicide blast.

According to the police, the vehicle of Haroon Bilour was the main target of the bomber.

The attack targeted a campaign event organised in the city of Peshawar by the Awami National Party, which has been targeted by Islamist militants in the past over its vocal opposition to extremist groups like the Taliban.

The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) on Monday had revealed the names of six personalities, including Imran Khan and Hafiz Saeed's son, who could be targeted by terrorists during the ongoing election campaign.

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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