Bilawal to halt electioneering in K-P, Punjab following Peshawar attack


The ECP said that elections have been postponed due to the death of the PK-78 candidate, adding that the new schedule for the said constituency will be announced soon.

This was the first major attack on a campaign event for Pakistan's July 25 general election.

The attack on a meeting of the Awami National party (ANP) in Peshawar also injured almost 50 others, said city police chief Jamil Qazi.

"I am also ready to sacrifice my life for your rights, but I request you to exercise restraint", Bilour's 16-year-old son Daniyal, who was wounded in the bombing, told supporters at his home.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sardar Muhammad Raza strongly condemned the attack, reports said.

The Pakistan media reported that at least 8 kilograms of TNT was used in the blast.

Mohammad Khorasani, spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant group, claimed the responsibility for the attack. The bomber blew himself up late on Tuesday before a meeting at the YakaToot.

Bilour was one of the ANP's election candidates and belonged to an influential political family in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital. Bilour suffered serious injuries and was shifted to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

ANP senior leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the attack was meant to derail democracy and delay the elections scheduled for July 25.

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His body was later taken to Bilour House where party workers paid tributes to him.

Police, security forces and rescue teams rushed to the site and transported the injured to hospital.

The death toll is feared to go up as at least 20 of the injured have been stated to be in a critical condition.

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

Bilour's family called on his supporters to remain calm.

The attack came after the army said it would deploy more than 370,000 soldiers to polling stations - over five times more than the number deployed for the last election in 2013.

"This shows the weakness of our security institutions and a conspiracy against transparent elections", he said in a statement.

Responding to a question about the deadly attack on the party leader, "These are terrorists we are dealing with".