Suicide bomber killed 12 people at anti-Taliban political party’s rally in Pakistan

Vastavam web: A suicide bomber blew himself up at an anti-Taliban political party’s rally in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 12 people, including a candidate in July 25 elections, police said. The attack on a meeting of the Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar also injured nearly 50 others, city police chief Jamil Qazi said. The ANP was the main target of Taliban attacks in the 2013 election. Then, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour was killed in a suicide bombing. Tuesday’s attack killed his son Haroon Bilour, a candidate for the provincial assembly.

Peshawar city sits on the edge of a region bordering Afghanistan that has long been home to Islamist militants. The Pakistani Taliban, a loosely aligned umbrella group of several militant and sectarian bands, have been waging a war against the Pakistani state for over a decade, killing tens of thousands of people.

The violence has decreased in recent months after several military offensives against their strongholds in the region. But many militants have escaped to neighbouring Afghanistan, from where Islamabad alleges they launch attacks inside Pakistan. Last month, a U.S. drone strike killed the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against the ANP in the 2013 election on the grounds that it had supported military operations against the militants.