BANNU: At least four people were killed and 10 injured in an explosion near a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) convoy headed back from an election rally.
Speaking to reporters after the attack, JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani said the blast took place near the tire of his jeep when he was passing through Haved Bazaar after addressing an election rally. “There were workers surrounding my jeep when the blast took place.”
Earlier, RPO Karim Khan informed media that the explosion took place 50 metres away from the site of a Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rally in Haved locality, adding that 40 policemen were deployed at the venue for security duties.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan condemned the terror attack on Durrani and called the attack ‘a conspiracy to sabotage the July 25 elections’.
“There seems to be a conspiracy to sabotage the 25 July elections but the people of Pakistan will not allow any design intended to target these historic elections to succeed,” he tweeted.
“What else this government is doing except arresting political workers and leaders,” the PML-N leader added.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, also condemned the attack.
Following the blast, Durrani arrived at the hospital to tend to his supporters.
“The police and institutions had told me about the security threats,” Durrani told media.
“I remained safe but four of my allies have been martyred,” he remarked.
Durrani is contesting the election from NA-35 (Bannu) on a MMA ticket against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
He has served as the federal minister for housing and works in the last federal government and is also a former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
This is the second major incident of pre-poll violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this week.
On Tuesday, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour, among 22 others, was martyred in a suicide attack in Yakatoot neighbourhood of Peshawar.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily