[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Several killed in Pakistan suicide blast

Attack targeting official in northwestern city of Peshawar leaves eight people dead and dozens injured, police say.

Last Modified: 29 Apr 2013 09:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Monday's was the latest in a string of attacks in Pakistan ahead of May 11 elections [AFP]

At least eight people, including the son of an influential Afghan cleric, have been killed and 45 others wounded after a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a bus in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, police say.

Qari Hilal, the son of cleric Qazi Amin Waqad, died in Monday's suicide bombing which appeared to have targeted Sahibzada Anees, a senior official in the city administration.

He had passed by shortly before the blast in the Jehangir Abad neighbourhood.

Qazi Amin Waqad is a member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council, which is trying to draw the Afghan Taliban into peace talks.

Hilal was organising a conference of Afghan and Pakistani religious scholars to oppose militancy, Afghan consulate officials quoted by the Reuters news agency said.

The attack is the latest in a wave of violence that has rocked Pakistan ahead of national elections on May 11.

"At least eight people were killed and 45 others were wounded in the suicide bombing," Mohammad Faisal, a police official, told the AFP news agency.

"The commissioner, who passed just a minute before from the road, was the target of the bombing, but he escaped unhurt as the bomber missed the target and struck his motorcycle into a passenger bus."

Body parts of the suicide bomber were found at the blast site, he added.

String of attacks

Bomb disposal officials said the explosives weighed up to six kilogrammes. 

At Khyber hospital, an emergency has been declared as officials fear the death toll could rise, Al Jazeera's Imran Khan reported from the capital, Islamabad.

At least 56 people have killed in attacks targeting politicians and political parties since April 11, according to an AFP tally.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, which claimed several attacks over the weekend.

The Taliban is opposed to secular parties taking part in the forthcoming elections, our correspondent said.

"The idea is that the Pakistan Taliban do not want these elections to go off smoothly. They say that a lot of these parties are secular. They're not in Pakistan's interests. They say that Pakistan … should be a more Muslim country," he said.

The group has been waging a bloody campaign against the government for years and has stepped up attacks ahead of the vote.

On Sunday, 11 people were killed in bomb attacks on a political rally and two campaign offices in the northwest.

404

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list