10 killed in two bombings in northwest Pakistan
Islamabad: Ten people died and over 50 were injured in two bombings in northwest Pakistan on Monday, including a suicide attack that killed the son and nephew of a member of the Afghan High Peace Council.
A suicide bomber targeted a police van this morning on University Road, a busy thoroughfare of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
The van was close to a bus stop, and a crowded bus that was passing by bore the brunt of the blast, witnesses said.
Nine persons were killed and 43 injured, state-run Radio Pakistan said. Afghan High Peace Council member Qazi Amin Waqad's son Qazi Hilal Ahmed and nephew Qazi Muhammad Idrees were among the dead.
Their bodies were identified by relatives at Khyber Teaching Hospital, police said.
Ahmed was in Pakistan to invite clerics to an Ulema conference to be held in Afghanistan, his relatives said.
Superintendent of Police Muhammad Faisal confirmed the blast was a suicide attack. He said the bomber's head and limbs had been found.
The police van was the apparent target but the bus suffered more damage, he said. Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Anees' vehicle passed the site of the blast a few minutes earlier though he escaped unhurt, officials said. Several cars were damaged by the blast.
In the evening, one person was killed and 12 were injured in an explosion outside Awami National Party candidate Mohammad Ahmad Khan's campaign office in Charsadda.
Khan said the blast occurred near his car but he escaped unhurt. Three others cars and several shops were damaged.
Some reports said a suicide bomber was involved but police officials said the attack was carried out with a remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle.
Yesterday, 12 people were killed and more than 40 injured in four bomb attacks targeting campaign offices and election meetings in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.
The banned Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for two of the attacks. Pakistan has witnessed a sudden surge in militant violence ahead of the landmark May 11 general election that will mark the first democratic transition in the country's history.
The attacks have heightened concerns about security for the polls and candidates.