Narrow escape for Pak province CM in attack on motorcade

The Chief Minister of Pakistan's restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province today survived an assassination bid by a Taliban suicide bomber who blew himself up near his motorcade in the country's northwest.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti's motorcade was passing College Chowk in Mardan city when the suicide bomber tried to approach it. Witnesses said the bomber detonated his explosives when he was challenged by policemen. Hoti and others in the motorcade escaped unhurt, Chief Minister's spokesman Javed Khaki told the media.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attempt on Hoti's life and a string of attacks in northwest Pakistan Thursday that killed over 20 people.

Hoti had arrived in Mardan city on Friday to address a public gathering at a park. Soon after the blast, Hoti addressed the gathering amidst tight security.

Hoti's Awami National Party rules the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where hundreds have died in suicide attacks and bombings carried out by the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

On December 22, senior ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber in Peshawar.

The ANP says it has lost over 700 workers and leaders in terrorist attacks since 2008.

US diplomat car crash kills 1

An American diplomat in Pakistan got in a car crash with two Pakistanis on a motorcycle that resulted in the death of a Pakistani civilian, the US Embassy and a Pakistani official said Friday.

The Embassy said in a statement that the accident happened on Thursday evening in the Pakistani capital.

The Embassy's vehicle collided with a motorcycle carrying two Pakistani citizens, injuring both men.

One of the men later died from his injuries. Islamabad police identified him as Muzammal Shah.

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