[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Deadly bombing targets Pakistan poll rally

At least 25 people killed and scores wounded in attack on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam gathering in Kurram Agency.

Last Modified: 06 May 2013 21:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
One of the candidates targeted escaped unhurt and the other was slightly injured in Monday's attack [AFP]

At least 25 people have been killed and scores wounded after an explosion during an election rally in Kurram Agency for a Pakistani political party.

A Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) candidate, Munir Orakzai, is thought to have survived the bomb attack, which happened on Monday.

A government administrator for the remote region where the explosion took place said at least 50 people were injured in the attack, but that two party leaders escaped unhurt.

He said that the bomb was planted inside the building that was the venue for the rally of two National Assembly candidates representing the JUI faction led by Fazul-ur-Rehman, a religious leader.

One of the candidates, Munir Orakzai, escaped unhurt while the other, Ain u Din Shakir, was slightly injured, the administrator said.

Spotlight
Coverage of 2013 general election across the politically divided South Asian nation.

It was the first deadly attack on a political party in the tribal belt since campaigning began for what will be the country's first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has completed a full term in office.

Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Pakistan's interim prime minister, strongly condemned the attack and said another national assembly candidate had been injured.

Repeated calls for candidates to be granted more security have failed to stop a wave of attacks, most of them claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, which also took responsibility for this latest attack.

"Basically it was an attack on Munir Orakzai, who was a part of the past government for five years," Ehsanullah Ehsan, Taliban spokesman, told AFP news agency by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The tribal belt is a stronghold of armed Taliban-linked groups and Kurram has been dogged by sectarian violence between Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority and Shia minority.

The Pakistani Taliban has condemned the elections as un-Islamic and directly threatened the main parties in the outgoing coalition: the Pakistan People's Party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party.

But Rehman and his JUI faction have been a mediator between the authorities and the anti-government group. The Pakistani Taliban has been blamed for killing thousands of people in an armed campaign over the last six years.

Elections have been postponed in three constituencies, in the southwestern province of Balochistan, in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi and in the southern city of Hyderabad, where candidates have been killed.

382

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
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
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list