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ECP postpones election in PK-78 after Peshawar blast

ECP postpones election in PK-78 after Peshawar blast”

The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for an overnight suicide bombing at a rally that killed a local politician and 20 others two weeks before nationwide elections.

13 people including Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour died in a suicide bomb attack on Tuesday at an election gathering in Pakistan's Peshawar, say reports.

Another 65 people were wounded.

Haroon Bilour belonged to an influential political family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital.

Overall, violence in Pakistan has decreased in recent years after several military offensives against militant strongholds in the northwest. Islamic extremists killed hundreds of ANP leaders and supporters in attacks around the 2013 election. Bilour was set to contest the July 25 elections from the Peshawar's PK-78 constituency.

TRT World speaks to journalist Kamran Yousaf for more details.

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.

The Pakistani Taliban said the attack on Tuesday night was an act of revenge for the ANP's rule.

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, which is also in the KPK province.

Last month, a USA drone strike killed the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the ANP in the 2013 election on the grounds that it had supported military operations against the militants.

A political party worker comforts another after a suicide attack during an election campaign meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan July 10, 2018.

According to the Commission, the election in PK-78 (Peshawar-13) will be held later along with by-elections which will take place after the general elections scheduled on July 25. That is more than five times the number of troops deployed during the last elections in 2013, when the security situation was much worse.

"Political differences apart, all political parties and their candidates must be provided proper security during their election campaigns by the state", he said in a tweet. Almost 1,35,000 of the troops have been called up from retirement, Ghafoor said.



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