BANNU, July 13 (Report ): At least four people were killed and 25 others including three police men wounded in an explosion near a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) convoy headed back from an election rally here on Friday morning.
Durrani, who was returning back from an election rally near North Waziristan, remained unhurt in the remote control blast, District Police Officer (DPO) Bannu Khurram Rasheed said.
The injured were taken to District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital Bannu for treatment, where officials confirmed the death toll had risen to four while 25 injured were undergoing treatment.
KP Inspector General (IG) Muhammad Tahir said that three police personnel were also among those injured in the attack which occurred within the limits of Haved police station.
Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Mohammad Khan condemned the incident and summoned an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation in the aftermath of the attack.
Talking to media persons RPO Karim Khan said that the explosion took place 50 metres away from the site of a Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rally in Haved locality, adding that 40 policemen were deployed at the venue for security duties.
Following the blast, Durrani arrived at the hospital to tend to his supporters.
Speaking to reporters after the attack, JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani said the blast took place near the tyre of his jeep when he was passing through Haved Bazaar after addressing an election rally. He said that workers surrounded his jeep when the blast took place.
“The police and institutions had told me about the security threats,” Durrani said.
“I remained safe but four of my allies have been martyred,” he remarked.
Durrani is contesting the election from NA-35 (Bannu) on a MMA ticket against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.
He has served as the federal minister for housing and works in the last federal government and is also a former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
This is the second major incident of pre-poll violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this week.
On Tuesday, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour, among 22 others, was martyred in a suicide attack in Yakatoot neighbourhood of Peshawar.
Politicians condemned the attack occurred in Bannu that claimed the lives of at least four people, injuring 25 others.
Strongly condemning the terrorist attack on Durrani, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded that the security of contesting candidates be ensured.
“The entire nation and institutions must unite to counter terrorism,” Bilawal said in a statement.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
Condemning the attack on Durrani, Imran expressed dissatisfaction on the safety of the MMA leader.
The PTI chief stressed that lapses in the security of election candidates should not occur.
He demanded that those injured in the attack should get state-of-the-art medical facilities.
“The enemy wants instability during the extremely important electoral process,” Imran said. “Interim governments should make it a priority to protect the contesting candidates.”
Imran demanded that the opportunity to wreak havoc in the country not be given to anyone. “Impartial polls in a peaceful environment are extremely necessary for Pakistan’s future,” he said.
Condemning the attack, Punjab interim Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari said that those targeting innocent citizens were enemies of humanity.
He expressed sympathy with the families of the deceased and offered prayers for the recovery of the injured persons.
“None of the religions in this world allow the targeting of innocent people,” Askari said in a statement.
Paying homage to the martyrs in the war against terrorism, he said that the entire nation stood united against terrorists.