Islamabad – An explosion targeting a political rally in the northwestern Pakistan city of Bannu has killed ten people, police officials say, the second such attack this week, raising fears of violence ahead of a July 25 general election.
At least 30 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred just after the rally hosted by the JUI-F religious political party ended on Friday morning, said a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Akram Durrani, former chief minister of the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, was unhurt in the bombing, which struck his rally in the town of Bannu, local police chief Kurram Rashid said.
There are fears of more violence in the run-up to polling day.
Durrani belongs to an alliance of religious groups called Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, which ruled the province between 2002 and 2008 under him.
Pakistani Taliban have been targeting the members and the leaders of Durrani’s party in the past for the religious group’s support and participation in the democratic process, which the militants say is a system brought in by Western infidels.
On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself at the election rally of a secular Pashtun party, killing one of its candidates and 20 activists in the deadliest attack in Pakistan this year.
Election violence by the Islamist militants is common in Pakistan.
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a bomb-and-gun attack after an election rally ahead of 2008 polls.