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11 July 2018, 08:10 | Glen Norman
The bomber targeted a meeting of the Awami National Party in Peshawar
Peshawar Police Chief Qazi Jamil confirmed Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour was among the persons who died in the attack. Then, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour was killed in a suicide bombing. Bilour suffered serious injuries and was shifted to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Haroon Bilour's 16-year old son, Daniyal, who was accompanying his father in the gathering, was also among the injured. ANP leader Iftikhar Hussain said the funeral prayers of Haroon Bilour will be offered on Wednesday at 5pm at Wazir Bagh in Peshawar.
Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik said eight kilos of TNT explosive was used in the blast.
The police officer did not confirm the nature of the blast, however, a local ANP leader while talking to DawnNewsTV said that a suicide bomber blew himself when Bilour entered the compound where the meeting was being held. After being informed, rescue teams, police and ambulances rushed to the crime spot and investigation is underway.
Bilour belonged to an influential political family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital.
The ANP was the main target of Taliban attacks in the 2013 election.
They have often been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and their allies.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first major pre-election violence.
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On July 4, NACTA Director Obaid Farooq while briefing a sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had said, "We have received as many as 12 threat alerts which are about leadership of political parties, including the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and six personalities can be targeted during elections".
Haroon Bilour teenaged son Danial Bilour was among the injured.
The ANP and its ally the Pakistan Peoples Party were unable to campaign for the last general election in 2013 because of threats and attacks on their events and supporters by terrorist groups like the Pakistani Taliban.
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.
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