Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

ANP leader Haroon Bilour among 20 martyred in Peshawar blast

ANP leader Haroon Bilour among 20 martyred in Peshawar blast

Confirming Haroon Bilour's martyrdom, the spokesman said that Haroon's son, Danial Bilour, was safe.

His father Bashir Bilour, one of the ANP's top leaders, was also killed by a suicide bomber in 2012.

Local television channels broadcast live scenes of ambulances arriving at the site and rushing victims to the hospital.

The Bomb Disposal Squad has confirmed that the blast was a suicide attack.

The bomber blew himself up near Haroon Bilour during fireworks, police said.

Terming it the "peak of terrorism", ANP leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the attack is aimed at derailing democratic system in the country and a conspiracy to delay upcoming general elections. "Moreover, there are threats to senior leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz", Nacta director Obaid Farooq said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.

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 operations against the militants.

Terrorists have targeted politicians, religious gatherings, security forces and even schools in Peshawar.

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

"I lost consciousness after the blast".

Major General Asif Ghafoor, an army spokesman, said 371,388 troops - almost a third of the total armed forces - would be deployed to provide security for the upcoming vote.

The ANP, which governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2008 to 2013, has been a continual target of militant groups operating in the northwest.

Following the incident, the Election Commission of Pakistan postponed the polls in PK-78 constituency.

Pakistan has been fighting a homegrown insurgency since 2004, when terrorists displaced by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan came to its border tribal areas.

Pakistani terror organisations have claimed responsibility for attacks on several prominent political figures, including the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

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