HANGU: A blast during an election campaign of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) killed at least eleven people, while 35 others were injured in the area of Doaba Bazar in Hangu, Express News reported on Tuesday.
The members of the political party, including former MPA Mufti Syed Janan running for the PK-43 constituency were meeting with shopkeepers in the bazaar to campaign for the upcoming polls. Janan escaped the attack without any serious injuries.
Janan told AFP by telephone that he had received injuries to his head and shoulder.
“I was on my election campaign and coming to my vehicle when the bomber blew himself up. I received some injuries but survived. Two of my guards were seriously wounded,” Janan said.
Authorities said it was a suicide attack but presented different accounts over whether the bomber had been on foot or riding a motorcycle.
“He blew himself up near the vehicle of (parliamentary candidate) Syed Janan. He was injured but he is safe,” Abdul Hameed Khan, a senior government official in Hangu said.
Security was tightened around the blast site, and a curfew was imposed in the area.
Rescue teams reached the blast site and the injured were shifted to a nearby hospital.
Tuesday’s bombing raises to 97 the number of people killed in attacks on politicians and political parties since April 11, according to an AFP tally.
Attacks on the political party have increased with a deadly attack on another JUI-F rally earlier on Monday afternoon. The blast left 25 people dead and over 50 injured in the Sewak area of Kurram Agency.
The bomb was planted inside the building that was the venue for the rally of two national assembly candidates representing the JUI faction led by cleric Fazulur Rehman.
Another JUI-F candidate Haji Mohammad Hashim Shahwani escaped an assassination attempt, on April 26, when his convoy was attacked by a remote-controlled bomb in the Mach district of Kachi in Balochistan.
Earlier on Thursday, Maulana Fazlur Rehman appealed to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) not to carry out attacks on candidates from political parties including the Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Violence increased in the northwest as Pakistan prepares to hold a general election and provincial elections on May 11, which will mark the country’s first democratic transition of power.
Meanwhile elections have been postponed in three constituencies where candidates have been killed. Those constituencies are in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, in Pakistan’s biggest city of Karachi and in southern Hyderabad.