Taliban target Pak leader’s poll campaign convoy,2 killed

Taliban militants attacked the election motorcade of a secularist-backed politician,Malik Adnan Wazir,with a roadside bomb

Written by Associated Press | Bannu | Published: April 1, 2013 12:52:25 am

Taliban militants attacked the election motorcade of a secularist-backed politician,Malik Adnan Wazir,with a roadside bomb on Sunday,wounding him and killing two of his supporters,police and the militant group said.

It was the latest attack by militants against figures associated with the Awami National Party (ANP). Both the ANP and the Taliban have strong support among ethnic Pashtuns who dominate Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,the northwestern province in which the blast took place. It comes the day after a man armed with guns and grenades killed a school principal and ANP member in Karachi,a southern port city with a large Pashtun migrant community.

Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attack on Wazir. “We have targeted Adnan Wazir’s convoy for his support for the secular system and the secular party,’’ he said in a phone call from an undisclosed location.

The blast struck Wazir’s convoy as he was campaigning in the Wali Noor area for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial legislature,police said. Two vehicles in the convoy were destroyed,wounding eight people including the candidate,said police officer Hidayatulah Khan.

He said two of the eight died at the hospital while Wazir himself is in stable condition.

Abbas Ali Khan,a witness and relative of Wazir,said that Wazir’s personal vehicle was destroyed,but that the candidate had been transferred to another vehicle that suffered only partial damage.

Abbas said that tribal elders Malik Maqbool Khan and Malik Mumtaz ,who were traveling in Wazir’s vehicle,died.

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