Two supporters of independent candidate killed in Pakistan
Islamabad: Two supporters of an independent candidate were killed and three more injured in a shooting in northwest Pakistan on Monday, adding to concerns about security for the landmark general election to be held next month.
The supporters of Abdul Rahem Khan, an independent candidate for a parliamentary constituency in South Waziristan tribal region, were attacked by suspected militants in Dera Ismail Khan area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Two men were killed and three others injured in the attack, police told the media.
The men were ambushed while they were on their way to the inauguration of Khan`s election office.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack though such incidents are usually blamed on the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The shooting came a day after a leader of the secular Awami National Party was killed and another injured in two roadside bomb attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
ANP leader Mukarram Shah died when his pick-up truck was targeted with a roadside bomb in the erstwhile Taliban stronghold of Swat.
Another ANP leader, Syed Masoom Shah, and three others were injured when their motorcade was targeted with a roadside bomb in Charsadda district. Shah is a candidate for upcoming polls to the provincial assembly.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks on both ANP leaders.
Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told reporters in the northwest that the ANP leaders were attacked because of the "secular views" of their party.
In yet another incident yesterday, police averted a possible terrorist attack by defusing a bomb planted in the house of Pakistan People`s Party leader Muhmmad Naeem Khan at Swabi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Khan is the candidate for upcoming parliamentary elections.
The Taliban warned some weeks ago that they would target leaders and rallies of the ANP, PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the run-up to the May 11 polls.
Last week, a MQM candidate was gunned down by the Taliban near his home in Hyderabad city of southern Sindh province.
Pakistan will go to the polls on May 11 to choose new national and provincial assemblies, marking the first democratic transition in the country`s 66-year history.
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