Four killed in Pak blast targeting PML-N leader
Islamabad: Four persons were killed and about 30 injured when PML-N leader Sanaullah Zehri`s motorcade was targeted with a bomb in the restive Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today, adding to concerns about security for next month`s general election.
Zehri escaped unhurt but his son Sikander Zehri, brother Mehrullah Zehri and nephew Mir Zaid Zehri were instantly killed by the blast.
A bodyguard was also killed, officials told the media. The bomb was triggered by remote control as the motorcade was crossing a bridge in Khuzdar district.
Kalat Commissioner Mohammad Akbar told reporters that Zehri had escaped as his car was equipped with a jammer.
About 30 people were injured. They were taken to nearby hospitals. Several cars in the motorcade of about 30 vehicles were damaged by the powerful explosion.
Security forces sealed off the area and launched a search operation. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Zehri heads the Balochistan chapter of the PML-N, which condemned the attack. He was on his way to an election rally at the time of the bombing.
This was the third attack on political workers and leaders in as many days. In a separate incident in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a bomb went off on the roof of the home of Pakistan Peoples Party leader Zulfiqar Afghani though there were no casualties.
Afghani is a candidate for the May 11 general election. Officials said a timed explosive device had been planted on the roof of Afghani`s house. Several walls were damaged by the blast.
On Sunday, a leader of the secular Awami National Party was killed and another injured in two roadside bomb attacks in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for both attacks, saying the ANP leaders were targeted because of the "secular views" of their party.
The Taliban had warned some weeks ago that it would target leaders and rallies of the ANP, PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the run-up to the polls.
President Asif Ali Zardari and caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso condemned the attack on Zehri.
Zardari sought a report on the incident and reiterated the government`s resolve to continue fighting militancy till its logical end.
Khoso directed authorities to beef up the security of all political leaders and to make adequate arrangements to prevent such attacks.
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