A suicide bomber attacked an anti-Taliban electoral demonstration of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar, killing 12 people and injuring some 50 others, city police chief Jamil Qazi said.
The attack was aimed at the leader of the ANP Haroon Bilour, who was a candidate for the provincial assembly in the upcoming July 25th general and local elections.
Bilour is listed among the casualties. During the 2013 elections, the ANP was the main target of Taliban attacks in which Bashir Bilour, father of Haroon, was also killed by a suicide bomb.
The ANP is part of the opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is near the border with Afghanistan and has long been home to extremist militants. The party represents the Pashtuns, majoritarian ethnicity in the region, which has a strong anti-Taliban position.
Bilour family has suffered the worst terrorist violence & rendered sacrifices for Pakistan. Basheer Bilour Shaheed was a brave leader who was martyred 6 years ago. Son of Haroon Bilour is reported to be critically injured along with others. Pray for his & others' early recovery https://t.co/DCWRh2HgOA— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) July 10, 2018
The Pakistani Taliban has waged a war against the State that has lasted for over ten years. The group is fighting for a nuclear-armed country, ruled by their own interpretation of Islamic law.
This is the first deadly attack during the campaigns for the July 25th general elections, in which over 105 million people are expected to vote.