14 Killed, 65 Injured In Suicide Blast In Pakistan's Peshawar During Political Meet

| July 11 , 2018 , 09:14 IST

At least 14 people have been killed and 65 other injured in a suicide blast on late Tuesday in Pakistan's Peshawar. The fatalities include Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Barrister Haroon Bilour. The death toll may increase further as 15 of the injured are said to be in critical condition.

According to reports, the explosion took place in the YakaToot neighbourhood soon after Bilour arrived at the venue and took to the stage to address supporters. A display of fireworks was also presented which allegedly helped the bomber take cover.

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Qazi Jamil, the capital city police officer (CCPO) for Peshawar speaking to local media GeoTv said that nearly 8 kgs worth of TNT explosives were used in the blast. The Bomb Disposal Squad confirmed that the blast was a suicide attack.

The blast in Peshawar marks the first major instance of violence ahead of Pakistan's general elections on July 25. Ahead of the 2013 elections, Taliban had conducted a series of attacks targeting the ANP as well. In view of the upcoming elections, the Pakistan Army had announced on Tuesday that it would deploy over 3.71 lakh troops to ensure peaceful and free elections on July 25.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack so far, however, attacks by the Pakistani Taliban are common in the Peshawar region.

A US drone strike last month was reported to have killed the chief of the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah who had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the ANP in the 2013 elections, on the grounds that the ANP supported operations against the militants.