15 killed, over 45 injured in suicide blast in NW Pakistan
At least 15 people were killed and over 45 others injured in a suicide blast that targeted a political gathering of Awami National Party (ANP) in Pakistan's northwest Peshawar city on Tuesday night, local media reported.
Local Urdu TV channel Geo TV said that a suicide bomber blew up himself near the car of ANP's leader Haroon Bilaur as soon as he left it to address the public.
Police said that target of the blast was Haroon Bilaur and his uncle, former Railway minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilaur who got slight injuries in the blast.
The injured people were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital where several of them were said to be in critical condition.
City Central Police Official of Peshawar confirmed that two policemen were killed in the blast.
Shafqat Malik, Additional Inspector General of bomb disposal squad, said that an estimated four to six kg of explosives were used in the blast.
ANP's leadership frequently comes under the terrorist attacks in the province due to their explicit criticism on Taliban militants.
Earlier on Dec. 22 last year, Bashir Bilour, brother of Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, was killed in a suicide blast in a political gathering in Peshawar.
Chief of ANP, Asfand Yar Wali, talking to media, said that Tuesday night's blast was the fourth attack on ANP's leadership over the last seven days in which several people were killed and injured.
"We become an easy target of militants as we couldn't get proper security despite our repeated request to the government," said Wali.
The banned outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack and said that target of the attack was Haroon Bilour, who remained unhurt in the incident.
Federal Interior Minister Malik Habib condemned the attack and sought a quick inquiry into the incident.
Both President Asif Ali Zardari and care taker Prime Minister Mir Hazar khan Khoso condemned the blast on ANP's leadership and directed hospital leadership to provide best medical treatment to the injured people.