Deadly bomb blast at Karachi election office

Local candidate of secular Awami National Party reportedly targeted by explosion that left at least ten people dead.

    The attack was the latest violence ahead of historic polls on May 11, and the second to hit Karachi in 24 hours [AFP]
    The attack was the latest violence ahead of historic polls on May 11, and the second to hit Karachi in 24 hours [AFP]

    A car bomb has exploded outside a secular party's election office in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens, officials have said.

    The bomb went off on Friday close to the office of the Awami National Party's (ANP) candidate in the city's western neighbourhood of Mominabad, local police said.

    It was an improvised explosive device planted in a Suzuki car, police spokesman Imran Shaukat said.

    Witnesses said the blast was heard several kilometres away and damaged nearby shops and houses.

    Bashir Jan, a local ANP candidate, was reportedly the target of the attack. He was set to address a meeting in the impoverished area, which is home to many ethnic Pashtuns, police said.

    Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility fo the attack in a telephone call to the AP news agency from an undisclosed location.

    Historic elections

    The attack was the latest violence ahead of historic elections on May 11, and the second to hit the port city in less than 24 hours.

    On Thursay, five people were killed when a bomb exploded outside the office of the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, police said.

    The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, accordinig to the Dawn newspaper.

    The armed group has reportedly been targeting members of the three parties, which are perceived as secular.

    Earlier on Thursday a grenade attack on an election office in the southwest killed one person and injured another.

    The ANP and MQM were coalition partners in the outgoing Pakistan People's Party-led government and have been been threatened by the Taliban for backing military operations against the fighters.

    Since April 11, deadly attacks targeting politicians or political parties have killed 37 people, according to the AFP news agency.

    The May 11 national polls should see power pass from a civilian government that has served a full term to another through the ballot box for the first time in the country's turbulent history.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


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