ANP leader among 12 martyred in Peshawar blast

Haroon Bilour was approaching the rally organised in connection with his election campaign on Circular Road when the explosion took place

More than 30 people injured in the explosion.

Police said head of the suspected suicide bomber has been found from rooftop of a building, adding that almost eight kilogram of explosive material was used by the attacker.

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

Following the blast, security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

Bilour was contesting the election from PK-78 Peshawar.

The body of Haroon Bilour was later shifted to Bilour House where ANP workers gathered in great numbers to pay respect to their deceased leader.

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

Haroon was son of Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a senior ANP figure who was himself martyred in a suicide blast in Peshawar in 2012. The ANP governed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital, from 2008 to 2013. The TTP spokesperson at the time, Ehsanullah Ehsan, had told journalists that Haroon was the target, but "unfortunately Ghulam Ahmed Bilour got injured". Islamic extremists killed hundreds of ANP leaders and supporters in attacks around the 2013 election.

Bashir was targeted in the Qisa Khwani Bazaar during an electioneering rally.

The Taliban have time and again threatened to target secular parties for what they call supporting the military action in tribal areas and the "war on terror".

The dead include a prominent local politician, while 36 others were injured in the attack on Tuesday, Police said. Pakistan will hold national and provincial elections on July 25.

Reacting to the incident, Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk, Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik, Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, condemned the attack and death of the ANP leader.

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