Elections in PK-78 suspended in aftermath of Haroon Bilour's death

Elections in PK-78 suspended in aftermath of Haroon Bilour's death

Elections in PK-78 suspended in aftermath of Haroon Bilour's death

The attack on a meeting of the Awami National party (ANP) in Peshawar also injured almost 50 others, said city police chief Jamil Qazi.

"The attack killed at least 13 people, including (Haroon) Bilour", Peshawar city police chief Qazi Jameel told AFP.

The ANP governed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province from 2008 to 2013.

Overall, violence in Pakistan has decreased in recent years after several military offensives against militant strongholds in the northwest.

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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. His father, Bashir Bilour, also a prominent ANP politician, was killed by a suicide bomber in 2012.

The Pakistan Army announced on Tuesday it would deploy over 371,000 troops to ensure peaceful and fair and free elections on July 25.

The blast took place in Yakatoot area of Peshawar when a corner meeting of ANP was underway, eyewitnesses say.

Punjab chief secretary was informed that days before he was killed in a drone attack in Afghanistan, TTP commander Mullah Fazalullah had issued directives to increase terrorist activities in Pakistan - to target the PPP and ANP during the general elections, in addition to carrying out terrorist attacks in various parts of Pakistan.

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After Bilour received multiple critical injuries, he was rushed to a nearby hospital. His body was later shifted to Bilour House where ANP workers gathered in great numbers to pay respect to their deceased leader.

The attack was a conspiracy against the transparent elections, the CEC said, noting that the provincial governments were ordered to provide fool-proof security to all candidates.

Hospital's spokesperson Zulfiqar Ali Baba Khel reportedly said that 13 people died and more than 47 are wounded in the blast. Emergency was declared in all the hospitals of the city.

No terror group has taken the responsibility of the attack as yet.

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The bombing came hours after the Pakistan military spokesman said there were security threats ahead of national elections scheduled for July 25.

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